Highlights of historic Inauguration Ceremony for 34th Guam LegislatureWritten by Rebecca Elmore
Guam - The 34th Guam Legislature celebrated their inaugural ceremony yesterday, but within a few minutes as newly elected senators, the lawmakers quickly found themselves in disagreement yet again.
This time, on whether to adopt new standing rules that some claim may inhibit procedural processes at the legislature moving forward.
Standing on the same historic ground that our public servants once stood so long ago, the 34th Guam Legislature took their oath of office in the newly restored Guam Congress Building.
For several lawmakers, this was their first inaugural ceremony. But even for veteran senators such as Senator Benjamin J. F. Cruz, his nomination for speaker was a first as well.
After an unseasonably long Democratic caucus, the Democratic Majority announced their nominations for leadership before the New Year, passing nearly every single nomination initially announced during caucus.
Taking to his newly elected seat, the message of Speaker Cruz’s keynote address commemorated the renewal of political faith stating that “progress is neither automatic nor inevitable."
The Speaker continued his address making reference to the historic inauguration.
“While our struggle is not over, I do not tell this story to reopen old wounds or find distance where there is now closeness, partnership, and understanding. I tell it because we are assembled here in the sacred shadow of their history and by our words, intentions, and works, each of us must be worthy of the historic change that happened in this place," he said.
Of course, one nomination did not come to fruition during the inaugural ceremony. That nomination was held by proposed Majority Leader Senator Frank Aguon Jr., who later rescinded his nomination due to talks of slashing legislative employees' salaries. He was also one of three vocal senators who voted against the adoption of the new standing rules.
“Mr. Speaker, if you look at some of the provisions in here, there are some significant modifications that were amended and it’s what we're about ready to adopt. When we’re talking about restricting the refinancing or the financing of the bonds, I believe the minority leaders should have the opportunity to be able to repeal that position,” he contested.
Nevertheless, the new standing rules were adopted with a sweeping majority: 12 yays and 3 nays under the leadership of newly selected Speaker Cruz who presided over the rest of the ceremony.