by Sabrina Salas Matanane
Guam - It's official: you can't use your cell phone when driving your car unless it's an emergency. That's just one of the bills Acting Governor Ray Tenorio signed into law this week. Also public law - if you're operating or a passenger on a bike you must wear a helmet. Another bill signed: legislation that abolished the Office of the Education Suruhanu.
PL 31-182, by Senator Aline Yamashita, is relative to drivers license road testing. It allows for driver's license applicants to be tested by alternative entities approved by the Department of Revenue and Taxation to alleviate delays at the agency.
Senator Judi Guthertz's PL 31-183 abolishes the Office of the Adequate Education Suruhanu. With no specific enforcement authority and little regulatory power, the position has not fully realized its intent and vision.
PL 31-185, written by Senator Chris Duenas, is relative to the "Disaster Service Volunteer Leave Act". The legislation allows for the inclusion of non-governmental and faith-based in assisting the American Red Cross with various volunteer efforts outlined in the Guam Emergency Response Plan. The Guam Office of Homeland Security or Office of Civil Defense will act as the official government entity responsible for the coordination of relief efforts.
Senator Sam Mabini wrote PL 31-186 authorizing the Department of Agriculture to administer and collect fees derived from the sale and rental of articles from the department, the fees associated with "Clearing, Grading, and Construction" permits.
PL 31-187, authored by Senator Mana Silva-Taijeron, requires all government of Guam departments and agencies to accept applications, filings, and forms for services through the Internet. The law provides easy access to the various agencies' websites and improves government services for island residents.
PL 31-188, by Senator B.J. Cruz, gives the power to village mayors to close roads for village events, including funerals and fiestas.
Senator Frank Blas, Jr.'s PL 31-189 helps reduce the likelihood of injury or death by requiring all bicycle operators and passengers wear helmets.
PL 31-190, written by Senator Ben Pangelinan, is an act to zone the previously unzoned lot no. 1060-5-1, in Barrigada to single-family dwelling (R-1). The landowners are seeking full utilization of the land.
PL 31-191, written by Senator Ben Pangelinan is an act to zone the previously unzoned lot no. 1060-5-2, in Barrigada to single-family dwelling (R-1). The property owners are seeking full utilization of the land.
Senatory Ben Pangelinan's PL 31-193 is a consolidation and clarification of the various amendments made to sections in Guam Code Annotated addressing minor or dependent survivor benefits.
Senator Adolpho Palacios authored PL 31-194, allows the Guam Parole Board to conduct deliberations in closed meetings and may vote using secret ballots regarding inmate parole matters.