Hagåtña, Guam – The Office of the Governor issues the following statement on Governor Leon Guerrero’s veto of Bill 136-37:
“In her June 28th letter to Governor Leon Guerrero, acting Guam Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Judi Won Pat expressed concerns with Bill 136-37. While the Acting Superintendent recognized the intent of Bill 136-37 was to attempt to assist GDOE, she stated in her letter that the bill actually adds more steps and requirements to the emergency procurement process. Superintendent Won Pat wrote that “Rather than assist GDOE in procuring, Bill 136-37 only adds more duties and requirements in a time where GDOE is already far behind making the necessary improvements from Typhoon Mawar and for opening schools.”
Our administration also acknowledges Senator Barnett’s intent was to try and help support our island’s school facilities. Bill 136, however, does more harm than good. Though well-intentioned, the legislation imposes additional constraints on GDOE not provided in the existing statutory emergency procurement process. GDOE has already initiated emergency procurements related to Typhoon Mawar and compliance with PL 34-7. Bill 136, if enacted, would’ve created additional bureaucratic hurdles for GDOE to comply with that were not imposed on any other government of Guam entity utilizing ordinary emergency procurement processes. Adding additional bureaucracy does not help GDOE recover and repair its schools.
The June 28th letter from Superintendent Won Pat highlights that, even with the best legislative intentions, agency input is critical to ensure that legislation accomplishes the intended result and does not inadvertently hinder agency action, especially during emergencies. It should be noted that this measure also bypassed the public hearing process after Speaker Terlaje waived the requirement so that the bill could be discussed in an emergency session.”