31st Legislature sworn-in before packed house - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

31st Legislature sworn-in before packed house

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - The island's second branch of government was sworn-in this morning during an inauguration ceremony at the Legislative Session Hall in Hagatna. The island's 15 newly elected senators in the 31st Guam Legislature were sworn-in to office this morning during an inauguration ceremony surrounded by family members and close friends.

With Governor-elect Eddie Calvo, and his predecessor Felix Camacho looking on, the island's new legislators one by one submitted their certificates of election to Supreme Court of Guam Chief Justice Robert Torres. "The chair finding that the certificates are now in order, I will now administer the Oath of Office," he declared. "I'll ask the senators elect to please stand, raise your right hand and repeat after me: 'I solemnly serve in the presence of all mighty God, that I will well and support the Constitution of the United States.'"

Dr. Aline Yamashita, Dennis Rodriguez Jr., Mana Silva Taijeron, Chris Duenas and Dr. Sam Mabini are the freshmen senators, joining incumbents tom Ada, Judi Won Pat, Frank Blas Jr., Adolpho Palacios, B.J. Cruz, Tony Ada, Judi Guthertz, Rory Respicio, Ben Pangelinan, and Tina Muna Barnes. Now sworn-in, they immediately got down to business.

Speaker Judi Won Pat was nominated to again lead the 31st Legislature. She took the podium, thanking her colleagues for their confidence and stressing the responsibilities that lay ahead. "Today marks the start of a New Year, as elected leaders it is important to understand that we are guardians of our people like any good parent we must first learn to listen before we can speak. As parents, many of us forget that while our children need - guidance and direction. They are not helpless and will we discipline and police them we will always put their needs ahead of ours," she stated.

Cruz was unanimously chosen again to be vice-speaker, while Senator Barnes will also hold her position as Legislative Secretary.

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