Governor to veto any bill postponing new minimum wage

Guam Chamber of Commerce (file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero says she will veto any emergency legislation passed by the legislature that seeks to postpone the 50-cent increase in the minimum wage due to take effect next month.

In its latest bid to postpone the wage hike, the Guam Chamber of Commerce asked the governor to call a special session to consider emergency legislation postponing the minimum wage increase until September 1.

The governor said if the legislature manages to pass a bill delaying implementation of the minimum wage increase, she would reject it.

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“I would veto it. You know, the minimum wage is a way for our workers … I see it as an investment into our human resources. The other thing that is not being discussed here is that you are giving them more buying power by increasing their minimum wage. And that makes a positive impact on the economy,” the governor said.

The governor previously said “no” to the Chamber’s request last weekend to use her executive power to postpone the increase. She said she doesn’t have the authority to arbitrarily order changes to a public law.

The Chamber has been seeking the postponement because of the growing number of tourist cancellations over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

The increase takes effect on March 1 when the current minimum wage will rise from $8.25 to $8.75 per hour.