Governor vetoes 3 bills, approves 3 others

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero Tuesday vetoed 3 bills passed during the recent legislative session and signed another 3 into law.

3 VETOED:

Bill 326-35 – VETOED

Sen. Telena Nelson’s Bill 326-35 would have provided for a hazardous pay differential to provide additional compensation to frontliners fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

“Without the cash to make good on our promises, the desire to do good things is simply not enough,” wrote the Governor in her veto message.

Bill 333-35 – VETOED

Sen. Therese Terlaje’s Bill 333-35 was vetoed. It would have required a rapid and transparent implementation of federal and local assistance programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As I’m sure you are aware, Federal Funds granted to the states and territories already come with mandatory timelines,” wrote the Governor. “A local statute commanding the Executive Branch to do what federal law already prescribes should not confuse these processes.”

Bill 336-35 – VETOED

The Governor also vetoed Sen. Terlaje’s Bill 336-35. It was intended to expedite the procurement of critical medical supplies.

“While its short title brands itself as a measure that would expedite the procurement of critical emergency equipment, the actual language of the measure does little to change the status quo,” wrote the Governor in her veto message.

 

 

3 APPROVED:

Bills 332-35 and 339-35 – APPROVED

Both Bills 332-35 and 339-35 were introduced by Sen. Telena Nelson to deal with the impact of the pandemic on the Guam Department of Education and its students.

Bill 332-35 is now Public Law 35-83. It creates an exemption from the service-learning graduation requirement for all high school students enrolled during school year 2019-2020.

Bill 339-35 is now Public Law 35-84. It exempts Guam’s public schools from the requirement of 180 instructional days.

The governor wrote that both bills “reflect our changed circumstances and provide exemptions to allow our public school seniors to graduate without compiling all the service hours normally necessary and to exempt our public schools from providing the full complement of 180 instructional days.”

And “these exemptions recognize the difficulty of achieving such milestones while practicing the social distancing that is critical to our island’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

Bill 324-35 – APPROVED

The third measure that she signed into law was Sen. Mary Torres’ Bill 324-35 which is now Public Law 35-85.

It temporarily suspends the requirement that 2% of General Fund revenues be deposited into the Rainy Day Fund.

“I appreciate the Legislature’s efforts to provide me with the flexibility needed to respond to this public health emergency,” wrote the Governor in her approval message to the Speaker.

Bill 324-35 “acknowledges the unprecedented circumstances that COVID-19 has brought to our island.”

“While there is a likelihood that the government may not achieve the revenue collections projected this law will be helpful to mitigate any budgetary challenges this fiscal year.”