Senator San Nicolas Says Law Authorizing Bond Financing May Be Illegal

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Senator Asks Attorney General’s to Weigh in on The Matter

Guam – Senator Mike San Nicolas is calling the bill that was passed into law allowing for the refinancing of bonds illegal and he says it puts the bonds at risk.

 

The Senator has asked the attorney general to look into this. Senator Mike San Nicolas called a press conference this afternoon to respond to accusations that he delayed bills that were introduced by Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. and instead introduced a similar piece of legislation of his own.

Senator Rodriguez introduced bills 34 and 80 which would’ve allowed for the refinancing of some GovGuam bonds at better interest rates in order to save millions of dollars. Both of these bills would’ve authorized the refinancing raise the debt ceiling and allow for the expenditure of the savings realized from the refinancing. “We can only do one thing in a bill,” said Senator San Nicolas adding, “2GCA subsection 2108 has some clear language in the law that specifically says that bills considered or passed by the legislature or any of it’s members shall not contain more than one subject matter. This is in our local law,”

Senator San Nicolas says he could not move bills 34 and 80 forward because they did not comply with this law. “GEDA came to me in June and asked me to be able to move some issue forward that would allow us to get these bonds refunded. It was at that time I introduced bill 130 that had the single issue on it which was the refunding of the bonds,” said the Senator.

San Nicolas’ bill made it to the session floor but was substituted last week with a version from Senator Rodriguez which again contained more than one subject. Senator Rodriguez’s bill also authorized spending of the money saved from the refinancing of the bonds. This bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor but now Senator San Nicolas fears this new law could be illegal.

 

“We need to have a very clear interpretation when it comes to these bond indentures because this is a contract with bond holders in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This is way beyond the politics at this point this has to do with the law,” said San Nicolas. In fact the Senator transmitted a letter to the Attorney General today requesting her urgent attention to this concern.