Governor sends two vetoed bills back to the Legislature
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2012
The Governor signed new laws protecting children, increasing assistance to Guamanians with mental illnesses, and increasing access to financial aid at the University of Guam. Governor Eddie Baza signed 15 bills, let three lapse into law, and vetoed two others.
Among the signed measures are Public Laws 31-245 and 31-246, both authored by Senator Adolpho Palacios. The first measure updates definitions in public law so the Attorney General’s Office can more effectively prosecute child pornography cases. The latter updates Guam law to more effectively prosecute crimes against children that take place over the internet.
“Senator Palacios has been a reliable partner with this administration, especially when it comes to protecting our children. I thank him and his office for crafting these laws to properly punish those who choose to hurt children,” Governor Calvo said.
Increasing Access to Scholarships
Governor Calvo also signed a bill into law that will increase access to higher education. Bill 509-31, now Public Law 31-237, makes higher education on Guam more affordable, by aligning our locally-funded financial aid with funds received from the federal government.
“A college degree is important now more than ever. The Legislature and my administration are committed to helping Guamanians who can’t afford higher education. I know that fresh-faced students and working professionals alike will be helped because of this law. I’m thankful to be given the opportunity to support this laudable bill.”
Increased Funding to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse will also get much-needed help thanks to a new law signed by the Governor. Public Law 31-239, authored by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz adopts a proposed fee schedule for the department, and ensures money collected from these fees solely benefit the clients of DMHSA.
“This has been a long time coming, but Vice Speaker Cruz has always kept this at the forefront of his efforts. I thank him for keeping this a priority, so the clients at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse receive the care they need,” Governor Calvo said. “I look forward to the day when DMHSA can be financially self-sufficient while still being able to properly serve its clients.”
Governor Calvo vetoed a measure from Senator Aline Yamashita that sought to mandate bigger parking stalls. This allows the business community and Sen. Yamashita to come together and craft legislation that is agreeable to both parties.
Governor Calvo wrote in his veto message:
Notwithstanding that all the legislative formalities were observed, there are now some technical objections to the bill being raised after its passage. Although it would be easy enough to discount these comments because of their late submission, my office has been in touch with the bill’s author, Senator Aline Yamashita, and, to her credit, she has expressed a willingness to review these comments and work with the individuals and professionals submitting them. She believes, as do I, that we should give these comments due consideration before taking action to make sure that the ultimate law accomplishes the intended goal of modernizing our parking requirements, yet does so without adversely impacting the business interests or commercial establishments.
Governor Calvo also vetoed Bill 445-31, relative to the COMRIGHT-21 Commission, citing separation of powers concerns. He encouraged the Legislature to work with him to introduce another measure that accomplishes the goals of Bill 455-31.
“While the objective of the bill is indisputably laudable, the proposed means of accomplishment is problematic…While I strongly agree that modernization is necessary and that Government must strive toward greater efficiency, I am concerned that the bill may violate the separation of powers requirement because it requires one member of the Commission to be appointed by the Speaker of i Liheslatura,” he wrote. “I believe in the intent of this bill and would like to work with i Liheslatura in revising it or otherwise creating a new mechanism to meet our goals.”
Lapsed Into Law
In addition to the bills mentioned above, Bills 466-31, 455-31, and 492-31 lapsed into law.
A breakdown of the bills is below for your convenience and reference:
Bills signed into law: Bills 361, 385, 388, 440, 459, 461, 462, 476, 477, 482, 506, 509, 522, 525, 530
Bills lapsed into law: Bills 455, 466 and 492
Bills vetoed: Bills 263 and 445
For more information, or to schedule an interview, call Phill Leon Guerrero at 929-7467.