Senators move in and out of Guam Congress Hall - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senators move in and out of Guam Congress Hall

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The legislative speaker speaks out.

Making her come back to public office, Speaker Tina Muna Barnes said it's full speed ahead for the 35th Guam Legislature.

In the midst of the transition, it also was moving day for senators, some senators moving in and some moving out.

We asked Speaker Tina Muna Barnes why senators were moving out of the Guam Congress Hall.

"The leadership was in right," Speaker Barnes said. "What happens through courtesy of respect, the leadership is usually housed here."

So that means Sen. Therese Terlaje - the Legislature's top vote-getter frozen out of legislative leadership - had to hit the road. The former acting speaker is moving into former Sen. Tom Ada's old office. And although Speaker Barnes said senatorial leaders are housed in the Guam Congress Hall, Vice Speaker Telena Nelson also opted to move out.

Barnes said it has nothing to do with Democratic caucus fallout.


"No, no definitely not," Speaker Barnes said.

Legislative insiders said the Dems are showing a unified front, but behind the scenes, the divisive caucus splintered the Democratic supermajority.

"I don't think there's any rift at all," Barnes said. "I think as a Speaker, I have to listen to all sides."

Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Kelly Marsh Taitano and Legislative Secretary Sen. Amanda Shelton will share the top floor of the Legislature with Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee.

While Speaker Barnes said senatorial leaders get dibs on staying at the Guam Congress Hall, in the case of Terlaje, size does matter. Terlaje's oversight of Tourism, Land, Justice, Health and Historic Preservation means she needs a bigger office.

"That's a ginormous committee - and when you're confined to a tiny little space," Barnes said.

When we asked her if she was surprised she was unanimously selected as speaker, she said this.

"I'm honored at the fact there was no challenge and I truly believe that a lot of that comes from being able to be fair," Barnes said.

She's also humbled by being given a second chance by voters and she adds that she won't back away from a battle - whether it's a fight to be the Speaker or following through on legislation.

"You win some, you lose some," Barnes said. "But when you lose, you continue to try, and you continue to play because the only time you lose is when you go home and say 'I quit.' I never quit."

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