By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Congressman Michael San Nicolas and three senators collaborated on a bill setting local deadlines to release direct federal cash assistance to Guam residents. Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and minority leader Sen. Telo Taitague are trying to convince at least one more senator to go into session to have that bill and others debated and passed into law.
A bill by Senators Therese Terlaje, Sabina Flores Perez, and Jim Moylan will essentially require the Departments of Revenue and Taxation and Labor to complete processes for the flow of money to about 50,000 tax filers and their children, and to the unemployed and underemployed affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the passage of the federal CARES Act, which is what provides this money to families on Guam and throughout the nation, Mr. San Nicolas has been telling Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and the senators that local effort is required to see to it that federal money gets into the hands of those qualified.
Early Friday afternoon the congressman held a conference call, where all senators were invited to participate, to explain the local legislation needed. Only Ms. Barnes, Mr. Moylan, and Sen. Mary Torres participated in the call.
Ms. Taitague informed Kandit's viewers Saturday morning that aside from herself and Mr. Moylan, Republican senators Louise Muna and Wil Castro also support a call to session.
Following Ms. Taitague's live call with Kandit, she spoke with Ms. Muna Barnes on the matter of calling emergency session to dispose of the bills.
"She did answer and said they are looking into session and working with [the Committee on Rules] as we speak," Ms. Taitague said.
While Ms. Muna Barnes has the power to call senators into session, that call will be moot if at least eight senators do not show up for session.