Lawmakers didn’t hold back on Bill 334 on Tuesday morning, the first of two bills, that would give the Governor added authority to enforce her stay at home orders.
All 15 senators gathered again today to continue their emergency session.
The main two bills on the agenda were Bills 334 and 335, giving the Governor the power to set islandwide curfews and impose fines or possible jail time for people violating her executive orders.
Many senators praised the Governor’s efforts so far in the fight against COVID but they also agreed that measures in place now are enough and that the Governor doesn’t need any more powers.
Among their qualms with Bill 334, senators worried about a far-too-expanded authority for Adelup and the jail time associated with anyone violating the orders for the third time.
Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje said: “Anything that has to do with taking away my civil rights, my civil liberties, is against my conscience.”
Senator Louise Muna said: “And prevention can be best addressed by getting information out to the public, not by arresting or charging people with crimes.”
Senator Clynt Ridgell said: “They don’t know what they’re allowed to do and not to do now, many of them, so if we were to do this, there would be a lot of people who would be fined or getting a misdemeanor simply because they didn’t understand the executive order.”
Senator Jim Moylan said: “People are stressed out, and if we’re going to say, if you don’t follow this and that, we can stretch you out more, by sending you to jail if you don’t follow the orders”
Senator Ridgell even went as far as saying that while we should stay the course with the Governor’s current orders, we should also begin looking at how to re-ignite and open up the economy again.
Senators also debated Bill 335 during session, which is the measure that would allow for island-wide curfews.