Speaker amends Guam Film Office bill

Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (PNC file photo)

During session today, Speaker Tina Muna Barnes introduced a motion to remove the appropriation provision from Bill 152-35, which seeks to establish a Guam Film Office.

“I move to make a simple amendment to the bill by striking out Section 4 of the bill entirely which is the appropriation and I ask that we take a moment — a brief recess so legal can help me write this amendment to make sure that everything is in order,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker introduced the measure hopeful that the creation of a Guam Film Office would boost the establishment of a movie industry for Guam because the island has missed so many opportunities already.

Earlier, the Guam Visitors Bureau criticized Bill 152-35.

In a letter to Speaker Tina Muna-Barnes, GVB President & CEO Pilar Laguana said the bureau was “neither given the respect nor courtesy” of discussing the measure with the bill’s author.

Laguana said from their point of view, the bill has been strategically prepared and mapped out to avoid GVB input.

She said the committee nor the board wasn’t given time to formulate an established position. The bill, which was discussed during session today, also appropriates $1.5 million from the TAF.

Laguana said the Legislature must be careful in appropriating large amounts to organizations like the Guam Film Office that have no track record of managing funds yet.

Laguana said GVB is concerned about the accountability of how $1.5 million in appropriated funds from the TAF would be managed.