SESSION DAY 1: Bill banning scuba fishing advances to the voting file

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Guam lawmakers went back to session this morning with 10 bills on the agenda.

First to be discussed was Sen. Sabina Perez’s ban on scuba fishing. She said unrestrained scuba fishing has contributed significantly to the decline of reef fish around the island.

However, Sen. Mary Torres countered that the bill does not provide the comprehensive solution to the problem that is needed.

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“Bill 53-35 will protect Guam’s reefs and vulnerable fisheries by ending the harmful practice of scuba fishing in Guam’s waters. The bill is a response to the growing environmental-cultural threat. In recent decades our people have witnessed a staggering drop of fish stocks,” Perez said.

But Sen. Mary Torres said: “I think what troubles us, many of us, about this bill is that while it is hardly the catch-all, as many of my colleagues spoke today. It’s not the catch-all. And to simply rely on this as the answer to now restoring fish populations is really short-sighted.”

Bill 53 was advanced to the voting file.

Session resumes tomorrow.

Items discussed and moved to the voting file:

  1. The nomination of Chris Duenas to serve as a Member, Department of Parks and Recreation, Board of Commissioners.

  2. The nomination of David N. Sanford to serve as a Member (Private Sector Representative) of the Government of Guam Retirement Fund, Board of Trustees.

  3. Bill No. 53-35 (COR) – Sen. Sabina Perez: Relative to the prohibition of fishing with the use of a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) and similar devices in the waters of Guam or in any vessel in the waters of Guam.

  4. Bill No. 84-35 (COR) – Sen. Sabina Perez: Relative to extending the plug-in electric vehicle rebate program to private businesses and nonprofit organizations and extending the rebate phase-out period, and to add a new chapter 2 to title 7, Guam administrative rules and regulations, relative to implementing the same.

  5. Bill No. 154-35 (COR) – Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes: An act to authorize I Maga’låhen Guahån to relocate 384± square meters of an existing bull cart trail within lots 5007-3, 5007-4 and 5071#1-2, in the municipality of Tamuning to with an area consisting of 746± square meters within said lot 5071 #1-2 for public right-of-way use.

Items Pending discussion

  1. Bill No. 90-35 (COR) Sen. Sabina Perez: Relative to providing for emergency procurement for threats to the environment, increasing transparency and otherwise improving emergency procurement. *Bill set aside – 3/3/20

  2. Bill No. 196-35 (LS) – Sen. Telena Nelson: Relative to authorizing the Guam department of education to enter into power purchase agreements to purchase solar energy from qualified provider(s).

  3. Bill No. 197-35 (LS) – Sen. Amanda Shelton: Relative to amending the University of Guam charter to add personnel; classify student employees; authorize UOG to enter into borrowing agreements without legislative approval; establish the center for island sustainability; repeal the Guam national energy institute; establish the UOG sea grant special fund; establish representation at the pacific regional environmental program;
    promulgate procurement regulations; authorize short-term borrowing; and authorize long-term leasing and contracting. updating the charter of the university of Guam to facilitate it’s growth into a 21 st century institution to meeting the educational needs of the region while giving it more financial independence.

  4. Bill No. 208-35 (COR) – Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes: relative to preventing price gouging during a state of emergency or epidemic.

  5. Bill No. 232-35 (COR) Sen. Telena Nelson: Relative to defining the one hundred eighty (180) instructional days equivalent as 900 instructional hours for Guam public elementary and secondary schools; and for Guam public schools and requiring the superintendent of education to develop a standard operating procedure for the arrangement making up of the loss of instructional time for Guam’s public schools.

  6. Bill No. 237-35 (COR) – Sen. Kelly Marsh: relative to simplifying the composition of the Guam product seal task force, updating terms related to Guam and CHamoru, requiring that it meet biannually instead of monthly, and clarifying the number of members needed for quorum and action.

  7. Bill No. 257-35 (COR) – Sen. Therese Terlaje relative to updating the qualifications for licensure for new hire bachelor’s and master’s level speech-language pathology assistants.

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