For Immediate Release:
FINANCE CHAIRMAN FINDS HIMSELF IN THE CORNER.
Tamuning, Guam. Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Health, Economic Development, Homeland Security, and Senior Citizens issues the following statement in response to Finance Chairman Senator Michael San Nicolas' press conference this afternoon.
"Senator San Nicolas has obviously found himself in the corner and now desperately gasps for air as he attempts to cover up his mistake that cost our island the opportunity to save millions of dollars. Had the finance chairman done his job and conduct a public hearing on either Bill 34-33 and Bill 80-33 introduced on January 28 and April 20, 2015 respectively, we would not be at this juncture and our people would not have lost millions of dollars. Both bills were reviewed by legal counsel and was drafted in close collaboration with finance experts at GEDA, the governments bond counsel and the governor's fiscal team.
Despite Senator San Nicolas' objections to move forward with my bills, I constantly requested he have a public hearing on my bill so that our community can be heard and full transparency be achieved. I even had to tell him that the way to remedy any concerns raised is to substitute my bill in his committee. He continued to refuse and now has cost the people of Guam resources that could have been used for other priorities. Instead of doing what every committee chairman is obligated to do, Senator San Nicolas introduced a similar, but flawed bill of his own (Bill 130-33).
I suggest Senator San Nicolas learn from this mistake and immediately act on other bills that have been introduced by other senators by having public hearings. Senators who have bills stuck in the Finance Committee are even willing to do all the leg work to issue committee reports, just to ensure important issues are pursued. We are a deliberative body, no one senator alone should dictate what bills are moved forward, after all we are all equal representatives of our people."