Governor signs war claims no filing deadline bill into law

Photo shows the temporary war claims processing center in Tamuning. (PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed into law Substitute Bill No. 130-36 (LS), which establishes the “Guam World War II Reconciliation Act of 2021.”

In her transmittal letter to Speaker Therese Terlaje dated Oct. 15, the governor said it is unfortunate that ddespite significant efforts by Guam’s previous congressional delegates to secure federal commitment to reparations for Guam’s survivors of Japan’s occupation during World War II, the endeavor stalled on a technical deficiency.

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“As congressional efforts to correct the flaw in United States Public Law 114-328 proceeded, we realized that too many of our greatest generation were leaving this life without ever receiving the reparations they had been promised. Early in 2020, my Administration delivered on those promises by advancing payments to those with adjudicated claims so that they could enjoy the benefit of reparations before it was too late,” Leon Guerrero said.

But while thousands of claims were satisfied, the governor said it became clear that several hundreds of survivors had failed to secure entitlement to reparations not because their claims for pain and suffering had been deemed insignificant, but because they had missed the federal statutory deadline.

“Bill No.130-36 seeks to correct this injustice by establishing a local program similar to the federal one except without a filing deadline,” the governor said.

Bill No. 130-36 is now Public Law No. 36-59.