Special Session recesses till end of Emergency Session

Lawmakers recess on Bill 24-37 special session (Screenshot Guam Legislature Youtube)

Guam saw what could arguably be called a full display of power from the Executive Branch.

With lawmakers expressing their distaste on Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s numerous calls to a special session yesterday.

The Governor’s several call’s to session came as a response to the legislature’s choice to recesses her first 10am call to today.

With the legislature saying that they need to focus on their own emergency session to address the state of GDOE Schools.

“No legislation shall be considered at any special session other than that specified in the call therefore or in any special message by the Governor to the legislature while in such session,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

The statement comes as lawmakers chose to move forward with their Emergency Session pertaining to the state of Guam Department of Education Schools.

Originally the Governor, over the weekend, called for the special session on Bill 24-37, which would appropriate over $23M for GovGuam employee pay raises at 10am yesterday.

However, despite the session happening at 10am, lawmakers ultimately voted for a recess.

With Democratic Senator Chris Barnett saying that their focus should be on their Emergency Session.

“We heard over five hours of testimony Friday at a Parent-Teacher Organization roundtable. That kind of reiterated for a lot of the members present, that even those who weren’t, how urgent and important, and critical dealing with the situation – the state of our schools. And how the situation on the state of our schools requires us to fulfil our responsibility to watch over and improve the education system where we can,” said Barnett during yesterday’s special session.

In response to the Special session being recessed, the Governor, who cited her executive power through the organic act, called for three more special sessions afterwards.

Ultimately lawmakers chose to adjourn those sessions, while the original 10am session was still in recess.

In response to the legislature opting to continue with their Emergency Session, the Governor said that it is an “obvious attempt to circumvent the Governor’s clear authority under the Organic Act to call the Legislature to special session to consider only the matter specified in her call to special session. This is inorganic, violates the separation of powers, and cannot be sustained.”

Meanwhile, responding to the Governor’s statements, Senator Barentt told PNC that, “We aren’t ignoring the Organic Act. We respect the Organic Act and the Governor’s power to call us into Special Session. That’s why we went into Special Session in the first place, and that’s why we answered every call the Governor sent down to us. I think the only ignoring going on here is Adelup ignoring the fact that the Legislature has said we fully intend to address pay raises after our Emergency Session is completed.”

Lawmakers further recessed the special session. With Barnett saying that they will look over the measure once their emergency session is over.

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News Director for the Pacific News Center, Don was born and raised on the island of Saipan and moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team to broaden his writing, and to challenge himself to get in front of the camera. Don’s ultimate goal and passion is to have a well informed and politically engaged Marianas.