Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed 10 bills into law.
Among the bills signed were Bills 74, 85, and 89. All three laws were authored by Senator Joe S. San Agustin who spoke during the ceremony.
“I’d like to thank the governor for her support on all three bills. She’s been instrumental on all three. She’s like, ‘Come on, Joe. Let’s help the people.’ And I said, ‘You got it governor. I’m behind you. We’re gonna do what we need to do. Thank you, governor and lieutenant governor,” San Agustin said.
Bill 74 permanently increases the gross threshold for limited exemptions on the business privilege tax for certain small businesses.
The law exempts the first $250,000 dollars earned per taxable year for small businesses that earn a certain amount of revenue.
That amount is a gross annual income of more than $50,000 but less than $500,000 dollars.
Elizabeth Duenas, president-elect of the Guam Association of Realtors, said: “I want to thank the powers that be with the legislature and the lieutenant governor and governor because the private businesses have suffered, and it’s been a long road. So every little thing helps. So this definitely is beneficial to the community, to the business community.”
Bill 85 was written to affirm the independence of the Guam Ethics Commission as an independent body. The Ethics Commission was established by law in 1996. However, it wasn’t an active entity until the governor issued an executive order in 2019.
The Ethics Board is an autonomous and independent commission made up of seven members.
The members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature.
Shannon Murphy, chairperson of the Guam Ethics Commission, said: “On behalf of the Guam Ethics Commission, I’d like to thank you, the governor and lieutenant governor, for Bill 85-36, which was introduced and authored by Senator San Agustin. Bill 85 was necessary to affirm the independence of the Ethics Commission and take a positive step in protecting the advancements made in standing up for an ethics commission.”
Bill 89 raised the price threshold for first-time homeowners under the Guam Housing Corporation.
The Guam Housing Corporation provides mortgage financing for first-time homeowners in the low to moderate income range.
Bill 89 raises the threshold from $300,000 to $350,000.
Edith Pangelinan, acting GHC director, said: “We were here just not too long ago, a little over two months ago, to issue twenty-some applicants. We continue today, to receive many, also applying for first-time homeowners assistance grant. And so, with the funding we continue to have today, we will try our best to issue those grants to those who are eligible.”
She added: “I welcome first-time homeowners, to please come to Guam Housing for that grant. Let’s not miss the boat.”
The bills signed into law Friday were:
- Substitute Bill No. 46-36 COR – An Act to Amend Subsection (c) and to Add a New Subsection (d) to § 66212 of Article 2, Both of Chapter 66, Title 21, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Encouraging the Construction of Homes by Extending the Validity of a Building Permit for a Period of Twelve (12) Months and Granting Extensions of Such Period for Cause
- Substitute Bill No. 74-36 (COR) – An Act to Amend § 26203.2 and Repeal § 26203.3, Both of Article 2, Chapter 26, Title 11, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Permanently Increasing the Gross Threshold for Limited Exemptions on the Business Privilege Taxes for Certain Small Businesses
- Substitute Bill No. 85-36 (COR) – An Act to Amend § 15301 of Article 3 and §15407 of Article 4, Chapter 15, Title 4, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Reaffirming the Independence of the Guam Ethics Commission
- Substitute Bill No. 89-36 (COR) – An Act to Amend § 4703(d)(1) and (2) and § 4703(g) of Article 7, Chapter 4, Title 12, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Increasing the Threshold of the Purchase of a Home from Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000) to Three Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($375,000), Excluding Other Costs Imposed on the Purchase of a Home, and Removing the Five (5) Year Limitation on Adjusting the Eligible Transaction Amount
- Substitute Bill No. 110-36 (COR) – An Act to Amend § 41649 and Add a New § 41649.1 to Article 16, Chapter 4, Division 1, Title 26, Guam Administrative Rules and Regulations; to Amend § 67.308.1 of Article 3, Chapter 67, Title 9, Guam Code Annotated; and to Amend § 12605(o) of Article 6, Chapter 12, Title 10, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Allowing Electronic Transmission of Prescriptions for Schedule ii, III, IV, and V Controlled Substances
- Bill No. 47-36 (COR) – An Act to Add a New § 9117 to Article 1 of Chapter 9, Title 12, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Transferring Control of the Tourist Attraction Fund Grants Program to the Guam Visitors Bureau
- Bill No. 65-36 (COR) – An Act to Amend Subsections (a)(4), (c)(1), (d)(4), All of § 7120.1, Chapter 7, Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Removing the Expiration Date on Permanent Removable Windshield Placards and Extending the Period of Time for Physician Certification of Temporary Removable Placards
- Bill No. 87-36 (COR) – An Act to Add a New Article 4 to Chapter 73 of Division 7, Title 5, Guam Code Annotated; and to Amend § 6603(c) and Repeal § 6604 of Article 6, Chapter 6, Title 11, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Authorizing Asset Forfeiture for the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, and Establishing a Customs Forfeiture Fund
- Bill No. 90-36 (COR) – An Act to Amend § 5248 of Subarticle G, Article 3, Chapter 5, Title 5, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Requiring Monthly Records and Justification Reports when Purchases are made through a Sole Source or Emergency Procurement Process
- Bill No. 102-36 (COR) – An Act to Add New §§ 8103(d), 8103.1, and 8107(d) of Chapter 8, and Amend § 43122(a) of Article 1, Chapter 43, All of Title 5, Guam Code Annotated, Relative to Increasing Public Access to Information on Government Meetings, Deliberations, and Decision-Making by Requiring Broadcasting of Public Meetings and Notice of Agenda Items