Borrowing measures pass, but election reform bill fails - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Borrowing measures pass, but election reform bill fails

Posted: Updated:

Lawmakers wrapped up this month's session by passing a pair of major borrowing bills, but voting down a measure that would fundamentally alter the local election process. 

In what can be described as an unusually long debate, lawmakers spent the better part of six days slicing and dicing a Port Authority bond measure. In the end, it passed by a vote of 11-3.  Sponsor Senator Frank Aguon Jr. calling the approval of a $72.6 million bond for facility and infrastructure improvements greats news for the port. Senators also giving the nod to the Power Authority's proposal to refund its current $150 million bond to save about $415,000 a year in interest. 

Another high profile bill, was Senator Joe S. San Agustin's bid to save taxpayer money by precluding the election commission from conducting primaries. He said, "You all agree that the primary election is a party election, and the party should step up and do their part, and the people of Guam shouldn't be paying for what they should be doing. That was the main thrust of this bill."

But several senators including Mary Torres and Jim Espaldon argued that while well-intended, without further work San Agustin's bill might do more harm than good. "But ultimately, abolishing a primary election although it will not necessarily result in a runoff gubernatorial election, it will increase the probability and negate any initial cost-savings achieved by eliminating the primary," Torres said.

Senator Espaldon added, "I think there's still a lot of questions that need to be answered, and issues that need to be scrutinized before we can pass this type of election reform and I don't think we've done that just yet."

The measure was defeated by a vote of 9 to 4, with two senators excused. 

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Pre-K approved for expansion

    Pre-K approved for expansion

    Expect new Pre-Ks in the new year. The Guam Education Board approved the expansion of the pilot Pre-K Program that would add five additional schools next fall. Increasing the student they serve from 72 to 162. Superintendent Jon Fernandez said, "You have a management team who is really eager to see the expansion of a Pre-K program, I think the promise of the Pre-K program, is that if we're able to do enough and look where head start is we can look at the overall offerings to our...More >>
    Expect new Pre-Ks in the new year. The Guam Education Board approved the expansion of the pilot Pre-K Program that would add five additional schools next fall. Increasing the student they serve from 72 to 162. Superintendent Jon Fernandez said, "You have a management team who is really eager to see the expansion of a Pre-K program, I think the promise of the Pre-K program, is that if we're able to do enough and look where head start is we can look at the overall offerings to our...More >>
  • PE teachers oppose ROTC class instead of gym

    PE teachers oppose ROTC class instead of gym

    Physical education teachers are against student credit for ROTC. At Tuesday's GEB Board meeting, PE teachers from local high schools spoke out against expanding programs that are allowing students to opt-out of PE classes. Although not on the official agenda for the meeting, GEB members said a work session is scheduled for later this month.More >>
    Physical education teachers are against student credit for ROTC. At Tuesday's GEB Board meeting, PE teachers from local high schools spoke out against expanding programs that are allowing students to opt-out of PE classes. Although not on the official agenda for the meeting, GEB members said a work session is scheduled for later this month.More >>
  • Board supports bill for Sanchez procurement

    Board supports bill for Sanchez procurement

    DOE is ready to rebuild Simon Sanchez High School. During last night's GEB Board Meeting members voiced support for Bill 204 that would make DOE the sole leader in the procurement process. Many present during the last public hearing say the students voices need to be heard. GEB member Mark Mendiola supports the decision, saying, "I want a Mercedes Benz and I want the top of the line for our students, I mean what is our student's education worth.  I'm supportive of DPW takin...More >>
    DOE is ready to rebuild Simon Sanchez High School. During last night's GEB Board Meeting members voiced support for Bill 204 that would make DOE the sole leader in the procurement process. Many present during the last public hearing say the students voices need to be heard. GEB member Mark Mendiola supports the decision, saying, "I want a Mercedes Benz and I want the top of the line for our students, I mean what is our student's education worth.  I'm supportive of DPW takin...More >>
Powered by Frankly