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33rd Legislature takes office

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 by Isa Baza

Guam - Senators of the 33rd Guam Legislature were sworn-into office this morning at the inauguration ceremony in Hagatna. Before family and friends, senators of the 33rd Guam Legislature were sworn into office.   

Rising to deliver the inaugural address Speaker Judi Won Pat, imparted her goals for the upcoming term that included strategies to address the military buildup, political status for Guam, expanding local farming, as well as building stronger regional ties. "Now, more than ever, we must be aware of our collective power and use it to ensure that as Guam changes in the years to come, it doesn't become a place we will no longer recognize, a place that serves the desires of others.  Instead, we must ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our people first," she proclaimed.

Won Pat welcomed the spirit of inafa'maolek - working together - just as she says senators did in the 32nd legislature and hopes to do with the people of Guam. She continued, "The 32nd Guam Legislature accomplished a great deal - we passed measures to rebuild and modernize our island's schools, raise the minimum wage, purchase more police cars to keep our streets safe, renovate our hospital, and so much more. Imagine what we can do this term."

As Won Pat's speech ended, a motion was made to adopt the standing rules. Republican senator Jim Espaldon rose to make a point of inquiry to ask about Rule Number 15 relative to the passage of the legislature's budget. "And so in essence I asked whether we're going to be voting on the legislative budget to be able to vote on the legislative budget of course, we would need to see what that budget is," he said.

Senator Rory Respicio responded that Rule 15 states that the legislature "may", not shall, pass the budget and that they will work on the budget later. Despite an objection the standing rules were adopted.

As for the leadership in the 33rd Guam Legislature the Democrat leadership positions remain status quo. Retaining his position as minority leader will be Senator Tony Ada, while assistant minority leader will be Senator Brant McCreadie. Senator Mary Torres will serve as the minority whip, with Senator Tommy Morrison serving as assistant.
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