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Senator Plans to Push for Override

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Senator Michael San Nicolas isn't happy about Governor Eddie Calvo's veto of his Bill 116 and as a result will seek an override. The legislation referred to as the "Responsible Operational Continuity Plans Act" would require government agencies to establish plans for continuous operations in the event of emergencies or unexpected losses in personnel, equipment, or other resources. The measure was passed last month by a majority vote of 11 senators.

In a letter to Governor Calvo expressing his intent to push for an override, Senator San Nicolas rebutted his claim that the bill violates separation of powers, infringing upon the executive powers of I Magalahi to supervise and control the executive branch. "The bill merely intends to set up a policy framework for the creation of operational continuity plans, the creation and implementation of which would be fully within the purview of the executive," wrote Senator San Nicolas.

The lawmaker also refuted the Governor's claims that his bill would create an unfunded mandate, "planning for the continuous operation of government should not be seen as an additional duty, but as a normal course of the business of governance.  If the budget which you duly signed into law through Public Law 32–068 is adequate for the operations of the government, this fundamental duty of our government should certainly be adequately funded," he wrote.

Senator San Nicolas further stated that it was his intention to create a systematic policy to guide future administrations to maintain government services even when the government faces challenges, like natural disasters, hostile acts or other events that could disrupt government operations. Senator San Nicolas suggested that as an interim measure, the governor should issue an executive order to require that operational continuity plans be adopted by government of Guam agencies.

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