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Saturday Night Session Ends Abruptly

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - When lawmakers returned from dinner break, Speaker Judi Won Pat ruled that Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr.'s amendment to merge sections of Bill 20 into Bill 19 was not germane.

A motion was immediately made to vote to overturn her ruling, but Senator Ben Pangelinan interrupted criticizing some of his colleagues "for pulling something like this". He said they all want to play by the rules adding he hoped his colleagues wouldn't cry again. Senator Tony Ada interjected that the members in the Legislature do not cry.

Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. who said he supported Speaker Won Pat's ruling that it was non germane asked that the author of Bill 19 be able to provide his opinion on the issue of germaneness, "because really this is his legislation, he sponsored it," Aguon stated.

Senator Chris Duenas, author of Bill 19, said he rose to register his objection to overrule the Speaker's ruling and said he concurred with her, "Madam Speaker I believe we have two proposals before us," Duenas stated. He urged Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. and other supporters of Bill 20 to allow the measure to stand on its own, "I believe both these proposals have merit but they do not belong together, they are clearly separate issues. I hope the body will resolve and register this as non-germane and allow it to stand as two separate issues," Senator Duenas added.

Senator Aline Yamashita thanked Speaker Won Pat for allowing the body to speak on the issue of germaneness, "both bills are trying to get revenues from gaming opportunties, Bill 19 which is from GNOC and the amendment to Bill 19 which was Bill 20 was from certain gaming machines," Yamashita stated. "For me madam speaker as I've said before the fact of the matter is they are licensed and GRT's are being collected. So that's how I saw that they are very similar," Yamashita added.

When the vote was called to overrule the Speaker's ruling on non-germaness, a majority voted in favor to overrule her ruling. Won Pat just after 7:37pm would immediately recess session until Monday July 1st after she along with several of her colleagues return from the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures conference in Hawaii which is scheduled for next week. Majority Leader Senator Rory Respicio attempted to object but the Speaker gaveled her ruling and session went into recess until next month.

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