Guam – After Governor Eddie Calvo filed a writ of mandamus in the Supreme Court of Guam with the hopes of forcing the transmittal of the tax revenue anticipation note (TRAN) bill, the Legislature decided to revisit the measure and vote on it again Wednesday afternoon.
The TRAN bill has been at the center of a deadlocked debate between the legislative and executive branches. The legislature has maintained that the bill failed when it received 7 yes votes and 6 no votes because of their standing rules which require a majority of the entire body or 8 affirmative votes for the passage of a bill.
The Governor challenged this notion saying the Organic Act only requires a majority of senators present during session vote in favor of a measure for it to pass.
The governor then took the matter to the Supreme Court of Guam which ruled in his favor giving the opinion that the legislative standing rules were inorganic. However, the Supreme Court never mandated that the legislature transmit the bill to the governor and the legislature has since refused to do so.
The governor then filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Guam seeking the court’s mandate that the bill be transmitted to the governor for his signature.
This afternoon the legislature decided to revisit the TRAN bill and vote on the measure again. This time the measure failed with a vote of 6 to 8. There was one excused absence granted to Senator Jim Espaldon because of a conflict of interest.
The governor was critical of the leaders in the Democratic party but also critical of Republican Senator Mary Torres who he says has not been “very Republican.” He was also disappointed with Senator Jim Espaldon, saying he “hid behind his cloak of conflicts.” Governor Calvo also said Senator Joe San Augustin “has two faces” and called him a “guy you just can’t trust.”
Ultimately the governor does not believe this will affect the current case in court. The governor says he will still fight for the tax refunds until his last day in office.