SPEAKER Judi Won Pat is calling the Guam Legislature into session at 2 p.m. today and several bills, including one that seeks funding for the Guam Mass Transit Authority, are up for discussion.

Senator Rory Respicio, who chairs the Committee on Rules, said the two-day session is not enough to put as many bills on the agenda so he expects his colleagues to adopt it on the floor.

He said Sen. Tom Ada’s two pet bills—funding for the GMTA so it could continue its operations and the application of the new international building code on Guam—will be discussed.

Ada’s bill will basically amend the newly-signed international building code. One of the amendments seeks to exempt residential homes to comply with the current mandatory sprinkler system.

If this bill is passed into law, townhouses, two-story homes and below, do not need sprinklers.

Both the Guam Fire Department and local contractor and architect stakeholders support the language of this bill.

Existing town houses, provided they meet current Uniform Building Code and Uniform Fire Code, will not be affected by the transition to the new codes, according to the bill.

Further, a task force, chaired by Ada, has been created to address the concerns raised at the public forum wherein architects, engineers and representatives from the fire department and the Department of Public Works participated.

Respicio said several resolutions will also be placed on the agenda.

Resolution 420 is a petition to President Barack Obama supporting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This also asks that the Obama Administration sign the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to request that it reconsider the military buildup.

Resolution 423  objects to a programmatic agreement between the Guam State Historic Preservation Office and the Department of Defense. The third, which will be introduced on the session floor, is the Legislature’s response to the final environmental impact statement.

If signed, the programmatic agreement will assert that DoD has met its obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act and therefore has determined that the military buildup will not affect historic properties.

Vice Speaker B.J Cruz insisted that historic properties will be affected by the buildup and that further consultation with the local community is necessary to determine further impacts.


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