Session wraps up; 4 bills passed

Guam lawmakers wrapped up their October session this afternoon by passing four bills,

Guam lawmakers wrapped up their October session this afternoon by passing four bills, including a measure transferring responsibility for the Guam Film Office from the Guam Economic Development Office to PBS Guam.

The bill does not include a funding source for the office.

Bill 152 passed by a vote of 11 to 4.

Voting no were senators James Moylan, Telena Nelson, Telo Taitague, and Therese Terlaje.

The original funding source of $1.5 million from the hotel occupancy tax was withdrawn after objections were raised by the Guam Visitors Bureau and others.

In a release following the vote, Sen. Moylan explained that he voted against the measure because “it would essentially end up being an unfunded mandate” and “it would be irresponsible to support a measure which would eventually need an infusion of taxpayer dollars.”

The speaker, in her own statement following the vote said “senators of the 35th Guam Legislature were able to put politics aside and take a step towards making our local economy more prosperous.”

Barnes said that over the last few years, “GEDA has tried to implement this program, but has yet to market Guam globally as a hub for the Film Industry.”

She said her measure would provide “training to our local residents” and support local businesses “from caterers, to car rentals, to hotels, to service and hospitality industries.”

Other Bills

Bill 138-35, authored by Sen. Amanda Shelton, also passed on a vote of 15-0. It expands the Natasha Protection Act of 2005 by including vaping in the ban on smoking in public places.

In a release Sen. Shelton states – “The studies are still out on these electronic smoking devices and research is developing, but we know that these products are not without risk and we want to take action now.”

The vote on Sen. Therese Terlaje’s Bill 187 was also unanimous. It adopts new rules and regulations for the Guam Board of Allied Health Examiners

And all 15 senators voted for Sen. Shelton’s Bill 80 which requires the Guam Power Authority (GPA) to have 50% renewable energy in its portfolio by 2035 and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

“The goal here is two-fold — to protect our environment and to protect our pocketbooks,” said Sen. Shelton in a release.

At the close of the session Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee rose to offer a moment of silence for the late Kin Perez, the former Democratic Party chairman and mentor to many in the current legislature. He died suddenly last week.