Speaker Won Pat will be at Session at 9:00am. She issued the following statement:

A Statement from Speaker Judith T. Won Pat 

Hafa Adai!  

My dear people of Guam, anyone reading today's headlines or listening to this station, is aware that your Legislature has been involved in an impassioned debate over the fate of bill 20; a measure that would tax gaming devices and provide revenue to the Guam Memorial Hospital.

While I am not a proponent of gambling and will always hold these beliefs personally and stand for them accordingly, our people's faith in a government that works is paramount. 

In keeping with these beliefs every procedural decision I have made was based on my understanding of the rules and the best information available to me.

When I sit as Speaker, I set aside personal thoughts on any subject.  Every procedural decision I make is based on a fair application of the rules and laws that govern our legislature. 

Every day people wakeup, feed their families, go to work, and do it again.  They want to know that those elected to govern will dispense their duties and get to work.  This is who I work for and I believe it is whom every one of your legislators works for still.

In spite of all our passions—all of our deeply held beliefs, the legislative process exists by the rule of law, the rule of the majority, and the protection of the minority through rights that can never be ignored…

It is not about dueling press releases or calls to session; it is not about who sits in theSpeaker's Chair or who is right and wrong.

That is why I will preside over Session today at 9 a.m.  I ask that all Senators attend Session this morning and that the business of the people proceed.

Now, I know that many of you have questions or may see this as a sign of political weakness.  I accept this criticism but believe that true strength comes from the realization that commonsense must give way and that pride must surrender to the work of our people.

I began the 32nd Guam Legislature stating in my inaugural that my job was to embrace my colleagues in all branches of our government as family. To respect and accept them, to work together, always keeping the people of Guam in our hearts andminds.

I remain committed to that challenge, we've got a lot of problems to work out and living as a member of this family will not be easy.

You will experience sibling rivalry and you may get hurt along the way, but rememberthat no matter what happens in this house, we only move forward when we move together.

This sort ofthing takes work. Good families don't just happen, they require extra effort, sincere compassion, and most importantly they require good communication.

We are all here for the same reason, we are all fighting for the same island and the same people, we just have different ways of seeing things. I believe that through dialogue we can learn to understand each other, then we can find a way to create harmony and unity in our government.

Dialogue will allow us to find a shared vision for Guam that will move us into the next millennium

I believe that today as I did just months ago. Saina ma'ase.