Keep Guam Good Reacts to Bill 19 Lapsing into Law - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Keep Guam Good Reacts to Bill 19 Lapsing into Law

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Anti–gambling group Keep Guam Good is disappointed with how Governor Eddie Calvo allowed Bill 19 to lapse into law at midnight last night. In a press release the organization states a true leader is someone who takes an unwavering stand on an issue "Governor Eddie Calvo failed to act like a leader in allowing Bill 19 to lapse into law.  He claims that he is "anti–gambling" but he refused to sign the bill and at the same time refused to veto it.  That's not leadership, that's cowardice."

 Governor Calvo in a special address to explain why he was allowing the bill to lapse into law stated " I'm not going to sign this   bill   for two reasons. The first is the way this   bill   was handled. The second is the amendment to ban bingo and cockfighting that didn't receive any public hearing. Fortunately, the amendment was defective because of a missing appendix. The   bill   doesn't have the effect of banning bingo and cockfighting because of a mistake made. That reinforces my first reason for not signing this measure. But I'm also not going to veto this   bill  ...and for a much–more important reason.   Bill     19   sends more money to your hospital. I've been there many times, just like many of you. More of us are going there for more reasons than we want. The place needs money for the medicine in the I–V bags, and for the blood tests and X–rays we get. We need more nurses in the ER so you don't have to wait so long.  "

 The Governor has also said that based on his legal counsel's opinion the bill was not about gambling but rather about taxes.   According to a legal memorandum issued last week by his legal counsel, Sandra Miller it stated   "  Essentially, the     intent and purpose of the Bill is to create a method for collecting tax and license fees from Guam     gaming activities, and then using the funds collected from the taxes and fees to finance certain     Government of Guam agencies and activities.  "

 Keep Guam Good says the Governor is hiding behind his legal counsel's opinion, "  This is the same legal counsel who authorized the licensing of gaming machines when the Attorney General of Guam halted those licenses because such machines were illegal.  A true leader would take his own counsel and listen to the people who elected him – the vast majority of whom voted against legalizing gambling in Guam for the past 9 years and who urged him to veto the bill," their press release stated.

 KUAM spoke with Governor Eddie Calvo this morning for his reaction to the press release from Keep Guam Good, although he had not read the release, he told KUAM that he respects their opinion but hopes they like him will pursue a proper venue to get public opinion if they want to ban all forms of gambling.

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