Senator San Nicolas proposes Organic Act changes on voter referendum

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Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Guam – Senator Mike San Nicolas says years of borrowing money without voter approval has resulted in Guam’s current financial condition. The Senator who is running for congress in this year’s election told Rotary Club of Guam members that Guam law requires that any money that is borrowed or any taxes that are raised be approved through a voter referendum. However, for years lawmakers have overcome this law by writing a notwithstanding clause in bond borrowing bills. Senator San Nicolas explained that as long as you write the phrase “notwithstanding any other provision of law” you can bypass just about any law. San Nicolas says that if the people of Guam were involved in the borrowing process over the last 20 years we wouldn’t be in the financial position we are in today.

San Nicolas says if he is elected to Congress he will look to add a voter approval requirement to the organic act. “I want to put it into our Organic Act that you cannot raise taxes unless the people approve. Local taxes. I want to put it into our Organic Act that you cannot go out and borrow more than $25 million unless the people ratify the borrowing. By doing that, by putting it into the Organic Act, local politicians cannot bypass that law because it’s organic. The Organic Act is the law of the land it is the one thing that local politicians won’t be able to overcome,” said San Nicolas. The local lawmaker says that this will force fiscal discipline in the government of Guam.