Vice Speaker stands firm against liberation gaming, Lt. Gov. Ten - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Vice Speaker withdraws bill to change Liberation authority

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The theme for Guam's 75th Liberation Day is "A Legacy of Peace and Friendship."

Vice Speaker Telena Nelson late today withdrew her Bill 33 that would have transferred authority for the Liberation festivities from the mayors to the Guam Visitors Bureau. 

Nelson also refused to fold on her strong opposition to Bill 29 that if passed will allow games of chance at this year's Carnival.

“In a showing of compromise and respect for our mayors, I’ve listened to their
concerns and believe this is a solution we can all agree on,”  Nelson said. “I thank the mayors for their continued hard work in our community and islandwide. I appreciate their dedication to planning Liberation Day and believe they will continue to engage the community in their preparations.”

The back-and-forth between village mayors and Vice Speaker Telena Nelson, over Bill 29, that if passed will allow the Mayors to set rules and regulations for games of chance at the Liberation Carnival, has Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio weighing-in.

"I think it's a big distraction and I'm more interested in planning the events," Tenorio said.

Tapped to co-chair Guam's 75th Liberation Day festivities alongside the mayors, he said the parade route will be longer, and he expects an increased military participation. But will island residents play games of chance once again at the Liberation Carnival?

"Well, the governor and I are both supportive of having it for the Liberation. For anything else, we still have to talk about that," he added.

Though the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration supports the gaming, Nelson is vocal in opposition.

"It's gambling, period. So I'm opposed to that," Nelson said.

She was instrumental in the passing of the law that bans all types of gambling.

"When we first repealed this law for the carnival to have a casino in it some of the things we had to sacrifice because of our stance were in text games of chance," Nelson said.

As reported, with no games of chance, mayors refused to host the carnival, citing a lack of funds. Nelson said her doors are open to island mayors to discuss any other ways of funding the liberation festivities, as long as it does not include gambling.

"There's no accounting for the color game or beto-beto, which means we don't know where the money is going or how much revenue is going in, an argument that says we're going to come back to produce revenue, I'd say that argument is mute," she said.

An informational hearing for Bill 29 is scheduled for 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Guam Congress Building.

Nelson late today also introduced Bill 43 that would appropriate $500,000 from GVB's Rainy Day Fund to the Mayors Council of Guam specifically for Liberation Day.

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