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San Nicolas introduces bill to repeal law

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Not even a full a day after it lapsed into law, and legislation has been introduced to repeal Public Law 32-06 formerly Bill 19.

After squabbling on a Saturday during session and a late night session attended by just nine senators to overrule a recess called by Speaker Judi Won Pat and lets not forget the manic Monday to continue the debate on Bill 19, after all that drama Bill 19 was passed unanimously. And now not even a day after it lapsing into law, Senator Michael San Nicolas has introduced Bill 149 to repeal it.

"And with the affect that repeal it pretty much brings us back to square one bingo, cockfights, the activities of our manamko and our sports teams will remain intact and the machines will now be back in the hands of the attorney general and what he decided to do with it in the courts," he said.

Sen. San Nicolas you may remember was also the lawmaker who introduced an amendment to another amendment introduced by Senator Ben Pangelinan to ban all forms of gambling in Guam after all of the Guam Memorial's bills were paid. This included bingo and cockfighting.

"Let's sunset everything and put all gambling to bed with this amendment," he said.

The amendment turned out to have no force or effect because a supporting document or "Exhibit A" was not included in the final version of the bill. So why not introduce a standalone bill to ban all forms of gambling in Guam? "My amendment was based on my perspective and my perspectives haven't changed. I do believe that all forms of gambling on Guam do have a negative impact on the community however the community has a different opinion and I must always respect that opinion," he said.

Committee chair on rules, Majority Leader Senator Rory Respicio meanwhile has referred the bill to Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr's committee he adds Governor Calvo did an excellent job in explaining that Bill 19 as amended was less about gambling. He says for Bill 149 to repeal the new public law would hurt the hospital as it would eliminate the part to help GMH.

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