Outgoing senators bid farewell at final session of 33rd Guam LegislatureWritten by Rebecca Elmore
Guam - The 33rd Guam Legislature adjourned this afternoon, tackling over 20 measures in their final session. But for several lawmakers, this session was bittersweet as they will not be returning in the New Year. Particularly, for Speaker Judi Won Pat who delivered a tearful and impassioned speech before adjournment.
“In the end, I would like to impart this final insight --a conviction I’ve managed to hold close to in two decades in public service: the best of us reject cynicism because we know that cynicism helps absolutely no one, because cynicism corrodes the soul. Instead, the best of us choose hope. We do this for our children and our children's children. We nurture hope. We carry her on our backs just as our ancestors carry her on theirs. Choose hope. This is all our work and our work is not done,” she said.
The speaker went on to say that she was not concerned with simply the legacy of "Judi Won Pat, the Speaker" but rather "Judi Won Pat, the individual" adding that the work is “far from done.”
Reiterating that same sentiment was outgoing Senator Frank Blas Junior who says he believes everyone within the legislature took the work of the final session seriously.
“I continue to do the work. This being the final session --it's just another session and the work of the people has to get done. I don't see it as a last hurrah; I see it as doing what the people has expected to do till the very end. There were no surprises, I think for the most part, everybody voted their conscience everybody voted their convictions and at the end of the day, I think not just this session, but throughout the year had produced a lot of great pieces of legislation that make our island a much better place,” he said.
Senator Blas added that there were no disappointments with the voting turnout and passage of bills. He also hinted that this would not be the last we see of him in the future.
“I'm going to continue to do work to help grow the economy and I’m going back to the family business and the family business is community oriented. So no, you haven’t seen the last of Frank Blas,” he remarked.
Some of the notable bills that passed in today's session include Speaker-Select BJ Cruz's Bill 312 to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over the next two years, as well as Senator Mike San Nicolas's bill 332 to raise the business privilege tax exemption threshold relative to the minimum wage.
You can see the full list of bills passed by clicking on the file below.