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This morning, Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Chairman on the Committee on Health was joined by eight other colleagues, namely Speaker Judith Won Pat, Senators Tony Ada, Rory Respicio, Tina Barnes, BJ Cruz, Tommy Morrison, Brant McCreadie, and Nerissa Underwood in introducing Bill 143-33, a measure that expands the Natasha Protection Act of 2005 relative to smoking regulations, providing increased enforcement capabilities and training.

Members of the Non-Communicable Disease Consortium Tobacco Action Group, the Tobacco Prevention Control unit of the Department of Public Health & Social Services, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ASC-CAN), and Dr. John Ray Taitano, president of the Guam Medical Society accompanied Senator Rodriguez and Tony Ada in filing the bill at the Office of the Clerk of the Guam Legislature.

"Today marks an important day in promoting the health and welfare of our people as it relates to secondhand cigarette smoke.  This bill expands the no-smoking regulations to bars, promotes increased enforcement capabilities, and further protects our kids. I want to be perfectly clear that this is not about trampling on anyones right to make a decision for themselves, it is about being the voice for those who cannot speak up.  This is for those bartenders, entertainers, and other patrons of bars who for one reason or the other have to be inside a facility that currently allows cigarette use...It is about protecting their health and welfare."  Rodriguez shared with those present at this morning's filing of Bill 143-33.

Bill 143-33 will be referred to a standing legislative committee and a puiblic hearing scheduled thereafter.  Click here to view Bill 143-33

The search is on for the 2016 Guam Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Inductee and the Married Couple Recognition Program Honorees!

Scroll down for nominations forms!

In its 4th year, the Hall of Fame was established to recognize a Senior Citizen of Guam for the achievements and contributions he or she has made to our island community. The Married Couple Program was designed to honor couples who have been married for 60 years or longer.

This program was launched in 2011 to bring honor to the pillars of our history, the foundations of our island family and the strength of our people. In recognizing these Seniors, we are able to thank them for the many years of sacrifices and contributions they have given in providing our generations with a strong-willed and persevering island community.

*Nominations for the Hall of Fame: 1) Nominee must be 65 years old at nomination. 2) 1,000 word maximum essay/biography. 3) Completed Nomination Form 4) Photos, Articles and other documentation supporting the nominee.

* Nominations for the Married Couple: 1) Married Couple must be married for 60 years or longer. 2) 1,000 word maximum essay/biography. 3) Completed Nomination Form 4) Photos of couple (during younger years, family, senior years, etc.), and other documentation supporting the nominees.

Submit your nomination with the required form and letter with supporting documents/pictures.  For more information please contact Sen. Rodriguez's office at 649-8638/0511 or send us a comment.  Si Yu'os Ma'ase'!

Download nominations forms from the links below:

Guam Senior Citizen Hall of Fame Nomination Form

Married Couple Recognition Nomination Form

For more information, please contact 649-8638/0511, send us a message, or leave a comment below.

Today, twelve Senators introduced landmark legislation relative to providing court ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment for persons with certain mental illnesses.  Bill No. 115-33 (COR) is to be known as the Baby Alexya Law.  Assisted Outpatient Treatment is practiced in forty-five (45) States as an extension of inpatient treatment, while allowing the qualified patient with a treatable mental illness or condition to receive court ordered treatment on an outpatient basis.  The continued treatment and management of the patient’s condition on an outpatient basis has also been determined to greatly reduce incidents of violence and arrests.

Bill No. 115-33 (COR) was introduced by Senators D.G. Rodriguez, Jr., R.J. Respicio, V.A. Ada, B. Mccreadie, N.B. Underwood, Ph.D., T.A. Morrison, F.F. Blas, Jr., F.B. Aguon, Jr., M.C. Torres, T.R. Muna-Barnes, M.F.Q. San Nicolas, and J.T. Won Pat, Ed.D.

Leading the nation, when New York City established Kendra’s Law, it took the tragic death of Ms. Kendra Webdale, a young woman who died in January 1999 after being pushed in front of a New York City subway train by a person who was not receiving treatment for his mental illness.  “On Guam, we had the recent case of ten (10) month old baby Alexya being punched in the face while in the arms of her mother under similar circumstances by a person not receiving treatment for her mental illness,” Senator Rodriguez stated.

“It took an unfortunate act because of the cracks in our mental healthcare system to raise our people’s level of awareness that we too are seriously in need of this kind of program,” Rodriguez added.  “I too had an initial reaction of anger, just as many did.  But as I learned more about the circumstances my feelings changed to compassion for a mentally ill woman who fell through the cracks in a system not legally prepared to address her situation and numerous others,” Rodriguez concluded.

Senator Rodriguez was joined at the introduction of Bill 115-33 by Baby Alexya and her parents, as well as representatives of the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, and Senatorial co-sponsors.

 

Alexya Law

Senator Rodriguez reaches out to Baby Alexya as her parents Alyssa and Fred Esser look on during the introduction of Bill 115-33(COR) at the Guam Legislature.

 

Alexya Law

Sen. Rodriguez, Baby Alexya, her parents Alyssa and Fred Esser, Sen. Tony Ada, Sen. Nerissa Underwood, Sen. Frank Blas, Jr., and Guam Behavioral Health Admin and Staff- Director Rey Vega, Dep. Dir. Paulino, Dr. Ariel Ismael and Ms. Jeremy Lloyd look on as Sen. Rodriguez explains Bill 115-33(COR)- known as the Alexya Law, during the introduction of the bill at the Guam Legislature.

Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., and the 33rd Guam Legislature, on behalf of the people of Guam presented Legislative Certificate No. 43-33(LS) to Chief Stanley Torres of the Andersen Air Force Base Fire Department.

Chief Torres' recognition is well deserved as he is the first Chamorro from the Marianas to be promoted to this position.

"I wish to express my sincerest congratulations to Chief Torres on his promotion, especially as a son of Guam and the CNMI.  Chief Torres' success is evident in the trust he has from his colleagues while making us proud of our island's contributions to the military and civilian populations on Guam and the CNMI'" Senator Rodriguez stated.

In attendance at the presentation were Sen. Tina Muna Barnes and Sen. Frank Aguon, Jr., Chief Torres' wife and daughter, parents Deputy Fire Chief of AAFB, Guam Fire Department counterparts, EMS Commission & Health Professional Licensing Office representatives.

Chief Torres

Senator Rodriguez with Chief Stanley Torres, flanked by his family, fire department couterparts, EMS & HPLO representatives and Sen. Muna Barnes and Sen. Aguon during a Legislative Certificate presentation congratulating him as the first Chamorro Fire Chief of the Andersen Air Force Base Fire Department.

In the 32nd Guam Legislature, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., introduced Bill 97-32 that was signed into Public Law 32-53 authorizing the use of Guam Territorial Highway Funds to address flood mitigation and other related projects under the Department of Public Works.

After months of planning, two of the projects have been completed.  The Taitano Road flooding issue in Dededo has been addressed and completed early 2015, and yesterday, May 26th, the official completion of Chalan Lamasu in Dededo was marked with a ribbon cutting.

These projects are among others identified in PL 32-53, and were proposed by DPW and the respective mayor.  Many projects are in different phases of work, continually being monitored closely by Sen. Rodriguez to ensure completion.

chalan lamasu

Senator Rodriguez joins other government officials and private partners in cutting the ribbon for the official opening and completion of Chalan Lamasu in Dededo.

 

 

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