Senators Begin Debate on Bills to Reduce Salaries

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Lawmakers began discussing bills 201 and 204 during Session this afternoon (Mon.) but they did not vote on either measure and will not vote until 9am Tues. morning.

Guam – Senators began debate on two bills that would reduce their salaries today(Mon.) beginning first with Senator Brant McCreadie’s bill 201 which only reduces salaries for Senators. The other salary reducing bill on the agenda is Senator Mike San Nicolas’ Bill 204 which would reduce the salaries for Senators the Governor Lt. Governor appointed cabinet members and mayors.

 

 There are two salary reducing bills on the session agenda. Senator Mike San Nicolas’ bill 204 which reduces salaries for the Governor, Lt. Governor cabinet members mayors and senators. Then there’s Senator Brant McCreadie’s bill 201 which only reduces salaries for Senators. The legislature began discussing McCreadie’s bill 201 first and it was immediately challenged by Senator Frank Blas Jr. based on Mason’s Manual for legislative procedures. “The main question may only be considered in a session and what it basically means is that it was an ancient rule that once passed or objected another of the same substance could not brought in again during the same session,” said Senator Blas. Blas is referring to a previous salary bill that lawmakers voted on during this current term. However, Speaker Judi Won Pat ruled against Blas’ challenge. Blas then challenged the Speaker’s ruling but only Senator Blas Senator Jim Espaldon and Senator Tony Ada voted in favor of the overrule and their attempt to overrule failed.

 Blas tried one more time to challenge the legitimacy of the bill citing a section of Mason’s Manual that says that once a decision has been made on a controversial issue they must stick with that decision. Again the Speaker ruled against the challenge but this time Blas would not try to override her ruling.

 

 Then debate on the actual bill itself began with Senator Tom Ada. “I would like to ask the author to yield to refresh my memory then and I would really like to listen to his rationale as to why of all the elected officials and appointed officials who got pay raises that it should only be the senators in this legislature that should be rolled back. So I really would like genuinely seriously I would really like to know where he’s coming from and you know he just might persuade me,” said Senator Ada. Senator McCreadie responded saying “I’m not trying to persuade him it’s up to him to vote Yes or No. If he hasn’t refreshed his own memory by looking in the past of what we’ve done in the last three years then it’s not my job to do that for him. Either vote it up or vote it down. That’s all I’m saying. If he hasn’t heard the rumbling of noises then maybe he doesn’t want to hear it and maybe we want to act like there’s no problem and hide in the corner and just say hey everything’s fine. The only person that’s going to address this issue is these people right here in this session hall. So some of the things he brought up I can’t answer he has to answer that for himself. I’ve only been here for three years so I’m looking for him for leadership I’m hoping he can persuade me to do something not the other way around. I haven’t been here for 20 years. So I mean great that he listened to my opening statements but make a decision for yourself. I don’t need to persuade anyone and I’m not trying to persuade anyone I didn’t ask him to vote yes on this bill or no,” said Senator McCreadie. Senator Ada responded saying, “Thank you Madame Speaker he’s answered my questions saying I have to make up my own decision I will I’ve already made it thank you.” 

 Lawmakers recessed at 9:50pm. Guam law requires that session end by 10pm and it prohibits senators from voting on and passing legislation after 10pm. The Speaker recessed session until 9:00am Tuesday morning to vote on three measures namely bill 189 which raises GMH rates, bill 201 and bill 204.