Monday, August 11, 2008

Guam Legislature All-Nighter

Guam Senators Pull All-Nighter Saturday;
Fund GPSS, Nuclear Leak Study, Support Agent Orange Legislation
Written by Patti Arroyo,
Pacific News Center - Guam, Saipan, CNMI, Asia-Pacific
Monday, August 11, 2008 08:38 AM

Guam - Barely into Sunday morning, lawmakers had just voted on a number of measures, including legislation to further aid the schools.

They passed a measure that gives the Guam Public School System (GPSS) $7.8 million for a late book order. Earlier, they heard the news that the school lunch program was short nearly $3 million on outstanding commodity invoices. This threatened the school lunch program.

Lawmakers reluctantly included an appropriation from next fiscal year’s revenues, to give fund GPSS needs. Finance senator Eddie Calvo was the sole vote against the legislation, calling it a pork barrel bill since the measure originally lifted population caps for newly constructed schools.

But Superintendent Nerissa Bretania Shafer said, “ It’s like Christmas for the children”.

Lawmakers also unanimously passed bills that provide funding to start an independent study on the nuclear leak in Apra Harbor and aid in the eradication efforts for the rhinoceros beetle; begin a graduated pay raise for law enforcement officials; and limit the term of acting directors and commission members. They also passed that measure that restricts travel to Guam from areas deemed a health hazard by the Centers for Disease Control.

They also voted to support Agent Orange legislation introduced by a California Congressman, which would extend benefits to include military and civilian employees exposed to stored agent orange.

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