McCreadie calling out Pangelinan for lack of action on bill - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

McCreadie calling out Pangelinan for lack of action on bill

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - The recent case of active tuberculosis among the Department of Corrections community has shed light on the lack of action to address Bill 172, better known as The Department of Corrections Construction Initiative Act of 2013.

The bill's author is calling out the committee chairman on appropriations to move the legislation forward.

Bill 172 may have received overwhelming support during its public hearing back in December but one senator may not be as big a fan. "I sent a letter today to Senator Ben Pangelinan in his committee. He's had Bill 172 in his committee for about eight months now and he's really been a roadblock for progress when it comes to this bill," McCreadie said.

The legislation, which was introduced by Senator McCreadie back in August would not only maximize manpower and reduce overtime, but also ensure the safety of corrections staff, inmates, detainees, and the overall public.

But enough is enough for McCreadie who also addressed Pangelinan in February to request a status update on the legislation.

"I think one man shouldn't determine the fate of a whole industry and a whole agency. We should vet the process through the legislature that's what we're elected to do. The 15 of us shouldn't be deprived of voting yes or no in this bill and I think it's wrong and I think you see all the problems with the Department of Corrections right now," he said.

As we reported on Tuesday, an investigation was launched at the Department of Corrections to identify close contacts of a pre-trial detainee diagnosed with active tuberculosis.

This news was the last straw for McCreadie who believes Bill 172 brings real solutions to the growing list of needs at the island's detention facilities.

"We need a new prison and I don't think we have a sense of urgency or he has a sense of urgency to put this bill forward, let it go through the process and be responsible about it. That's what I'm asking that he do immediately and report the bill out of committee put it on the rules meeting for Tuesday and get it on session floor," he said.

The senator adds that his colleagues cannot be partisan with this issue and suggests that if it is, he is willing to take his name off of the bill and put Senator Pangelinan's name as a sponsor of the legislation to get the bill moved and onto session agenda.

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