VIDEO: Lawmakers Talk Noise Mitigation & Reprogramming ARRA Funds


Guam – Monday was the first day of the May Session and Senators pasased 4 Bills and discussed a number of others including one that would reprogram bond proceeds to pay for Guam DOE capital improvement projects, and a resolution that deals with military noise mitigation.


 Resolution 24 asks the Joint Region Marianas to implement noise mitigation measures to reduce the impact of military aircraft activities. The resolution was introduced by Senator Aline Yamashita. “This resolution one more time talks about the quality of life for all of our families to be able to live safely and feel secure in your home to know that the sounds above are not going to infringe,” said Senator Yamashita.

 Senator Rory Respicio is among those who rose in support of the resolution. He also re-acted to recent comments he says came from members of the local business community who are blaming lawmakers for hindering the military buildup by being too critical of the buildup. “I first started by saying I support the resolution by saying I commend the author for her bravery for being very very brave. I end my comments by again asking her and all of us to be brave to stand up and despite being ridiculed and categorized that our actions are rhetorical and we’re just grandstanding Mr. Speaker that’s couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Senator Respicio.

 Lawmakers also discussed bill 137 which establishes administrative rules and regulations the issuance of Sanitary permits by the Department of Public Health and Social Services, bill 27 which provides penalties for those who break campaign advertizing laws, bill 117 which approves the proposed rules and regulations for the Guam Commission for Educator Certification, and Senator Ben Pangelinan’s bill 103 which re-program’s $36.6 million dollars in ARRA funds meant for capital improvement projects to instead cover personnel costs. GDOE, which was awarded the funds two years ago, can lose out on the ARRA funds if they don’t spend them by September 2011. Senator Pangelinan says that because of GovGuam’s procurement process it may be difficult for GDOE to spend all of this money on capital improvement projects by September 2011. “We could spend all of the remaining ARRA funds at least that have left to be obligated that we could spend all of that on the operations side for salaries and benefits and then substitute the local funds for the capital improvement projects as outlined in our ARRA application,” said Senator Pangelinan.

 The session agenda includes the confirmation of numerous appointments including Wilfred Aflague as the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and James Gillan as the director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services.