Did AG's opinion introduce new problems for Legislature? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Did AG's opinion introduce new problems for Legislature?

Posted: Updated:
While the issue of leadership was finally resolved Tuesday, ushering in the first-ever female speaker of the legislative branch of the Government of Guam, some say the attorney general's opinion that lead to the official leadership switch may have opened a whole new can of worms. Senator Judi Won Pat officially became Guam's first female speaker yesterday. "It's definitely an awesome feeling," she said of the responsibility. "More importantly, what I'd like is to have peace within our own body right here."

The speaker says she wants to help the Legislature to heal and put their differences aside in order to accomplish the work of the people, adding they likely won't go after the leadership of the committees except for the Committee on agenda, the Committee on Calendar, and the Executive Committee. "I'd like to not cause any disruption as much as possible; I think for the most part we're ready to move on," she said.

In addition to being the first female speaker, Won Pat says this is the first time a speaker is also the daughter of a former speaker. "And not only that he's also the first speaker of the first Guam Legislature," she pointed out.

While there are many firsts with this change of leadership, Senator Eddie Calvo says AG Alicia Limtiaco's finding that a simple majority of a quorum of senators has brought to light a whole new issue. "Kinda like we're in a brave new world right now and obviously now with opinions put forth on standing rules and the rule of the majority, as well as clarity on the Organic Act and the number of votes necessary for passage of a bill, it's very clear from the attorney general's opinion that a bill can be passed by a legislative body if (1) there's enough for a quorum where a majority of the body is present for a quorum and (2) when the majority of that quorum votes in affirmation of that bill," he stated.

This means that with a quorum of 8 senators, 5 would then be the majority. Calvo continued, "The whole equation has changed as far as I'm concerned. Of course, based on the attorney general's opinion if you have eight senators in here, which is a quorum and the majority vote for the passage of a bill, which is five, then that bill has been passed by the legislature."

During yesterdays session Senator Calvo's Bill 120 (which failed months ago) was brought back into consideration. Calvo says that technically according to the AG's opinion Bill 120 would've passed because 7 of the 12 senators present at the time voted 'yes', making a simple majority of the quorum. "Again, based on the standing rules and the attorney general's opinion of the Organic Act, like Lazarus, I got a second chance for my bill to come back to life," he theorized.

Calvo says that although he won't try and submit the bill to the governor for his signature, it does give the bill credence to be voted on again.
  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • System Forecasted to Impact Marianas as a Typhoon

    System Forecasted to Impact Marianas as a Typhoon

    The National Weather Service (NWS) - Guam Weather Forecast Office continues to monitor what is now Tropical Depression Yutu. As of 7 a.m., Yutu was located near 8.7 degrees north latitude, 156.4 degrees east longitude, about 855 miles east-southeast of GuMore >>
    The National Weather Service (NWS) - Guam Weather Forecast Office continues to monitor what is now Tropical Depression Yutu. As of 7 a.m., Yutu was located near 8.7 degrees north latitude, 156.4 degrees east longitude, about 855 miles east-southeast of GuMore >>
  • Tropical Disturbance Expected to Impact the Marianas by Midweek

    Tropical Disturbance Expected to Impact the Marianas by Midweek

    The National Weather Service (NWS) - Guam Weather Forecast Office continues to monitor a developing tropical disturbance in eastern Micronesia. As of 5 p.m., the disturbance was located just north of Pohnpei, about 1075 miles east-southeast of Guam and 1060 east-southeast of Saipan. It continues to move slowly westward and is expected to strengthen as it approaches the Marianas early this week. There is still much uncertainty with the exact track of the system. NWS advises ...More >>
    The National Weather Service (NWS) - Guam Weather Forecast Office continues to monitor a developing tropical disturbance in eastern Micronesia. As of 5 p.m., the disturbance was located just north of Pohnpei, about 1075 miles east-southeast of Guam and 1060 east-southeast of Saipan. It continues to move slowly westward and is expected to strengthen as it approaches the MarMore >>
  • Chamorro activists testify before UN

    Chamorro activists testify before UN

    A group of 20 Chamorro activists, many young Chamorro women, testified in front of the United Nation Committee on Decolonization. Presenting a variety of arguments in favor of decolonizing Guam, the group asked UN officials to send an envoy to assess theMore >>
    A group of 20 Chamorro activists, many young Chamorro women, testified in front of the United Nation Committee on Decolonization. Presenting a variety of arguments in favor of decolonizing Guam, the group asked UN officials to send an envoy to assess the More >>
Powered by Frankly