Speaker on female representation, legislative gains during the first 100 days

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Speaker Tina Muna Barnes

Guam – Making “HER-story” is Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, who reflects back on her first 100 days at the Legislature.

“There are more female Chiefs-of-staff in the legislature and women in head cabinet positions in the executive branch than ever before! the glass ceiling on Guam is about to shatter in a million pieces! and there is still more room for women empowerment,” Muna Barnes said.

Throughout the first three and a half months of the 35th Guam Legislature, lawmakers have introduced 10 bills shy of a 100 – with 90 bills having been brought to the legislative floor, according to the speaker.

She highlights the wide array of topics of every proposed legislation. She also recognized and commended her fellow policy makers for their respective focuses – such as female advancement, the protection of our manamko’ and our manhoben, decolonization, and the protection of the CHamoru culture and traditions.

She also acknowledges the continued strengthening of Guam’s public safety entities. She highlighted the recent announcement from the Guam Police Department of their plans to add 30 more members to the island’s police force

Muna-Barnes continues to demonstrate the wide range of issues that senators have launched, including various campaigns that protect the environment from invasive species and promote zero emission vehicles.

She also talked about attempts to revive legislation that would streamline and expedite all permitting needs, with the proposed establishment of a one-step shop.

In addition, she highlighted some improvements on the economic front, including more cost effective shipping practices for cheaper goods. Meanwhile, in line with her campaign policy, she talked about the progress of the cannabis conversation since the passage of the KC Conception Compassionate Cannabis Use Act in 2015 – with medicinal and adult-regulated use now legal.

The speaker also shared plans launched by her office to buckle down on implementing the bed-and-breakfast bill, finally establish Guam’s first film office, and address human trafficking crimes.

“Policy making, as I have learned in my last 6 terms, is no easy task. There is always two sides to every issue, and there is no way to make everyone happy. But that only means that your input matters for the sake of our island’s future. We may not agree on certain issues and we could possibly be on opposite sides of the spectrum, but as your public servant, I commit to you one thing – and that is the fact that my door will always be open,” Muna Barnes said.