Hagåtña, Guam – Lawmakers ignored the Organic Act and recessed from the Governor’s call to special session to consider the amended General Pay Plan (GPP) bill. The Organic Act is clear that senators must address the matter before them in Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s call to Session before convening another Session of their own to consider any other legislation. The Organic Act states in 48 USC Chapter 8A Section 1423h:
“No legislation shall be considered at any special session other than that specified in the call therefore or in any special message by the Governor to the legislature while in such session.”
Instead, lawmakers recessed the special session called by the Governor for the purpose of considering separate matters in its own Emergency Session. This is an obvious attempt to circumvent the Governor’s clear authority under the Organic Act to call the Legislature to special session to consider only the matter specified in her call to special session. This is inorganic, violates the separation of powers, and cannot be sustained.
The Governor then called lawmakers back into special session several times this afternoon as they continued to adjourn the special session. Senators then went into an emergency session called by the speaker and ignored the Governor’s 4th call to special session.
The Attorney General’s opinion 18-0089 states that the Organic Act empowers the Governor to call special sessions “regardless of whether the Legislature is currently in a special session, recessed or adjourned therefrom.”
“Why are certain Senators avoiding a vote on this bill? Is it because they don’t want to publicly vote against the measure? I am calling on senators to vote on this bill. If they don’t think our hardworking employees deserve this pay adjustment, then they have every right to vote no. At least that way, the public knows where everyone really stands on this issue,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.