Sen. Terlaje asks Speaker to call session to override governor’s veto

Senator Therese Terlaje cautioned the body against providing the government additional emergency procurement flexibility. She says there have been abuses in the past that led to the tightening of the law.

Senator Therese Terlaje has asked Speaker Tina Muna Barnes to call session so that senators can override the Governor’s veto of her Bill 335-35.

The measure would have required a rapid and transparent implementation of federal and local assistance programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her letter to the Speaker, Senator Terlaje writes that “the immediate enactment of Substitute Bill No. 333-35 (COR) is urgent as it mandates transparency relative to the expenditure of the $129 Million in federal funds allocated to Guam through the CARES Act.“

The bill would also “expedite” financial relief to island residents “who have lost jobs” or “been without pay since the closure of businesses on March 16th.”

She also points out that Bill No. 333-35 was unanimously passed by the Legislature on April 16th. The bill also allows for additional measures to expedite the relief to the people of Guam, many who have lost jobs or have been without pay since the closure of businesses on March 16th.

Governor’s veto message  

In her veto message Tuesday, the Governor wrote: “As I’m sure you are aware, Federal Funds granted to the states and territories already come with mandatory timelines”

“A local statute commanding the Executive Branch to do what federal law already prescribes should not confuse these processes.”