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Lawmakers confirm talks of a walkout

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Many who were waiting for Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo's State of the Island Address to start promptly at 10am may have noticed there was a bit of delay. During KUAM's live coverage this morning, we reported there were plans for Bordallo to meet with lawmakers in Senator Judi Guthertz's office. That didn't materialize and instead Speaker Judi Won Pat met with the delegate very briefly before her address.

Congresswoman Bordallo confirms with KUAM News that she had received information that some members of the 31st Guam Legislature were planning a walk out during her address. "I did hear about it," she said, "but I didn't think they would do it. We are a very respectful community and I really didn't think it would happen. I'm glad it didn't."

Senator Frank Blas, Jr. said, "I will confirm that there has been discussion among members of the Legislature about taking some action that would help to send a message back to Washington, DC of the people's sentiment concerning, more specifically, the provision that's included in the National Defense Authorization Act that has a far reaching effect, more so than the Consolidated Commission on Utilities."

"The messages are: pay attention to what we're saying!," noted freshman senator Aline Yamashita. "If we had to, I would've walked out. If I didn't know that you were not seriously listening to what we're saying or our people; I would've walked out with pride. The message has to be heard. We are changing the landscape of this island hugely with this buildup. We're proud to be American and we're even prouder to be Guamanian."

Some lawmakers, like Senator Guthertz, said they never intended to participate in a walkout. The former said, "There's always rumors. I don't think that's the right way to resolve a problem. I think we were very effective today right up front at the beginning of the event it was a decision of the senators to present Resolution 48, and that's what we did - sending a very strong message."

Likewise, Senator Ben Pangelinan added, "If I can sit through a governor's speech, I can sit through a delegate's speech."

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