Four senators on Taiwan trip
Four of your senators are spending the week in Taiwan. Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and Sens. Kelly Marsh (Taitano), Clynt Ridgell and Telo Taitague left Sunday for Taiwan to build on the sister city relationship Guam has had with Taipei since 1973.
While Legislative Executive Director Carlo Branch tells KUAM News no legislative funds were spent on the trip. KUAM News confirmed the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid for the travel and accommodations for most of the senators.
Sen. Marsh (Taitano)'s office says she used her personal funds.
Speaker Barnes says the Guam lawmakers will "explore recycling, sustainability, indigenous rights, and medical issues" while on the trip.
They are slated to return Friday.
Guam ethics laws say no elected official shall receive any gift - including travel - worth over $200. Any gift over this amount must be disclosed to the Guam Ethics Commission by June 30, but the ethics commission has not been impaneled yet.
In a statement, Speaker Barnes tells KUAM News "Our islands share many similarities how we can learn from their successes and emulate this in Guam is crucial for our island."
The trip is part of a tradition and senators in past legislatures have traveled on the Taiwanese government's dime, the speaker's office said.