Session sees senators pass litany of bills - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Session sees senators pass litany of bills

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From disarming a peace officer to physical fitness standards for law enforcement, senators passed more than 10 bills today at the Guam Congress Building.

Among the bills passed - Sen. Telena Nelson's Bill 324 - which makes disarming a police officer a felony, Senator Tom Ada's Bill 342 which authorizes the CHamoru Land Trust to lease the Yigo racetrack to the Guam Racing Federation for 50 years, Senator Nelson's Guam Landlord and Tenant Rental Act, Ada and Senator Regine Biscoe Lee's Bills 354 and 366 which appropriate local matching funds for Medicaid, Senator Mary Torres' Bill 267 - which enhances Civil Service Commission procedural protections for classified employees and Speaker Therese Terlaje's Bill 344, which expedites war claims.

Senators also failed to override the Governor's veto of Sen. Ada's Bill 28.

Sen. Tom Ada's Bill 28-34 - according to Ada - sought to improve GovGuam's procurement protest process by giving the Office of the Public Auditory jurisdiction over contract disputes, setting timelines for resolutions of disputes and allowing dispute judges to impose a protest bond if a protest is thought to be frivolous, among other things.

Gov. Eddie Calvo had vetoed the bill, saying the bill was "troubling" in his veto message. Calvo also said Ada's bill would lead to frivolous protests. Ada addressed the Governor's critiques of the bill before his colleagues in session this week. The senator said his bill addresses two sections of Guam's procurement law - sections that deal with administrative and judicial resolution of procurement controversies. The Governor's veto message took issue with several provisions in the bill - including one that allowed "interested parties" that didn't necessarily bid on a government project to participate in procurement protests.

The veto override failed with Sens. Ada, Lee, Joe San Agustin, Nelson and Mary Torres voting in favor of the override and Senators Fernando Esteves, Wil Castro, Louise Muna, Tommy Morrison, Terlaje and Espaldon voting against.

Excused from today's vote, Senators Dennis Rodriguez Jr. Michael San Nicolas, and Frank Aguon Jr.

Other bills:

-              Bill 42 relative to establishing the Guam able savings programs, providing tax exempt bank accounts for persons with disabilities and exempting them from execution. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 144 relative to establishing the Guam landlord and tenant rental act of 2017. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 236 relative to above ground storage of regulated substances. (VOTE: 10 yes, 0 no, 4 excused.)

-              Bill 238 relative to the definition of violent crimes as it relates to criminal injuries compensation. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 267 relative to enhancing procedural protections within the civil service commission in favor of increasing timeliness, efficiency, and due process for classified employees of the Government of Guam. (VOTE: 10 yes, 1 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 274 relative to excluding ovis fees from being considered as a component of gross income. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 344 relative to expediting distribution of Guam World War II claims to awardees who die before receiving the award. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 342 An act to authorize the Chamorro Land Trust Commission to lease Lot 7161-R1, Yigo, Guam for a period of up to 50 years, and to give the right of first refusal to the current licensee, the Guam Racing Federation, to continue the Guam Raceway Park, and to require the lease to be approved by the Legislature. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 354 An act to transfer $700,000 from the annual community contribution the Guam Economic Development Authority receives from the Guam Healthcare Development, Inc. dba Guam Regional Medical City to the Department of Administration for deposit into the Health Futures Fund and to appropriate $700,000 to the Department of Public Health and Social Services as the local matching requirement for the Medicaid program. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 366 An act to appropriate $3,500,000 from the Healthy Futures Fund balance as of the end of fiscal year 2018 to the Department of Public Health and Social Services as the local matching requirement for the Medicaid program in FY 2019. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 310 An act to transfer $300,000 from the annual community contribution the Guam Economic Authority receives from the Guam healthcare development, inc. dba Guam Regional Medical City to the DOA for deposit into the healthy futures fund and to appropriate $300,000 to DPHSS for the sole purpose of funding the child protective services division and program. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 349 An act to correct a lot identification in certain documents amongst the Guam Telephone Authority, GovGuam, TeleGuam Holdings LLC, and the CLTC. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 324 relative to the criminalization of disarming of peace officers. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Bill 365 relative to the adoption of the peace officer standards and training POST commission's physical fitness qualifications test and standards. (VOTE: 11 yes, 0 no, 3 excused.)

-              Vetoed Bill 28 relative to legal and contractual remedies in Guam procurement law. (VOTE: 5 yes, 6 no, 3 excused.)

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