Governor responds to Moylan bills; first shots in future gubernatorial race?

688
Despite the success of the U.S. territories' response to COVID-19, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said they have been included in a High-Level Risk list rather than used as examples for states to follow. (PNC file photo)

The first shots in a possible future gubernatorial match-up have been fired as Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero responded to a series of bills filed by Republican senator James Moylan.

On Monday, Moylan introduced bills specifically targetting Adelup and transferring funding for deputy directors, executive security, and Washington liaison to the governor’s budget.

Bill 189-35, specifically, would prohibit the funding of the position of “Deputy Director” from a department’s budget and if the executive branch feels that such a position is needed, then funding would have to come from the budget of the Office of the Governor.

In an interview with Patti Arroyo on NewsTalk K57, the governor took exception to Moylan’s bills and said they showed “a lack of experience” in running large government or corporate organizations.

According to the governor, a number of GovGuam agencies are so huge with a wide scope of functions and responsibilities that they need deputy directors to help manage the myriad tasks of the agencies.

With regard to the criticism of having deputy directors in smaller agencies, the governor said she is already addressing the matter “without the need for a bill.”

The governor also took exception to Moylan’s Bill 191-35, which would eliminate the Guam liaison offices, specifically the one currently located in Washington D.C. If any governor feels that such an office is needed for their governance objectives, Moylan said such a position should be funded from the budget appropriated to the Office of the Governor.

But the governor said the office of Washington liaison is important in pushing Guam’s agenda in the nation’s capital.

She said depending on who’s appointed to the job, the Washington D.C. liaison could open a lot of doors to important federal officials.

The governor said her current Washington D.C. liaison, former congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, has contributed a lot to the administration and facilitated many vital meetings with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and other high-ranking Washington officials.

Senator Moylan has been the most active Republican senator so far in the 35th Guam Legislature, with the most number of bills introduced.

Many of those bills have openly targetted Adelup including Bill 176-35 which establishes certain stringent provisions to the current government travel law and which seems to target the many off-island travels made by the governor and her Cabinet officials.

Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio had reacted to the bill during an earlier Patti Arroyo show, saying: “To me, that’s at the discretion of whoever the official is that’s going on the trip. If that official is elected, then the people of Guam have an opportunity to decide whether they agree with that or they don’t when elections come. Otherwise, you know, go run for governor yourself!”

##