San Nicolas pushes for referendum to amend Organic Act

Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Guam – Come this November, local voters may just get a shot to petition Congress to change the island’s Organic Act.

Senator Mike San Nicolas’ Bill 289 asks his fellow lawmakers to let the people decide whether they want ask the House of Representatives to require Guam governors to set aside sufficient revenue for tax refunds. He wants to place this question on the ballot in the general election.

The local referendum would also prevent local lawmakers and governors from passing new taxes into law without approval by voters. Finally, the amendment proposal subjects to voter approval any move to increase GovGuam debt by $25 million.

Earlier this week, San Nicolas stormed out of session when he got push-back from his peers on resolutions attempting the same outcome. Some of his colleagues believe amending the Organic Act cedes too much power over the island to Congress.

But San Nicolas contends that the Organic Act is the closest thing the island has to a constitution; that great sacrifices were made by local leaders to attain it; that it is preferable to a Naval Administration; and that it should be used to empower the people and protect against waste, fraud and abuse.