After 14 years out of the Legislature, Jesse Lujan is eager to get back in the elected seat and get started serving the public.
“I decided to run again because our island, our people are facing very unprecedented challenges. I am very concerned with the state of our tourism industry and I believe more is needed and more urgent attention needs to be paid in helping the tourism industry recover,” the incoming senator, whose victory is still pending certification from the Guam Election Commission, said.
With that in mind, Lujan told The Guam Daily Post his first bill to be introduced will reduce the local cost of living.
“On inauguration day, which is Jan. 2, ... I will be introducing legislation to fight inflation. I will be introducing legislation for the (business privilege tax) and also legislation to institute a 12-month suspension for (price hikes) in food and medicine,” he said.
Lujan said he also will introduce legislation to combat the methamphetamine epidemic on island.
“These are the issues that I ran my campaign on and I plan to work urgently and diligently on them from Day One,” he said.
The Republican lawmaker said he won't be bringing just new ideas to the table, he also intends to revisit measures from the last time he was a senator. These bills, according to Lujan, will address federal labor and the Jones Act, which restricts which vessels can come to Guam to import goods.
“With regards to the bills, one of the things I need to look at is the resolution we passed back then. It did not come in a bill form because the bill form would not have been relevant for the issue that had to do with federal labor. It was a resolution. Our open skies resolution that we were able to (accomplish with the) Department of Transportation and get a waiver for cargo, we weren’t able to get a waiver for passenger service. So we got half a load and not full load. I would need to revisit that again and if I am not mistaken I don’t think the airport had (requested) for an extension of that waiver,” he said.
Lujan, a Republican, will be a part of the minority in the Legislature. While that means he won’t be able to chair any committees, he said he hopes to sit on as many committees as he can.
“I would love to sit on the committee of tourism, of course, economic development, recovery, also in criminal justice and public safety, transportation, the airport and possibly the maritime and housing," he said of his policy interests. "Again, depending on how and what the majority labels these committees, these are the entities that I would like to sit on."
Lujan characterized himself as a "progressive" leader, in the sense that he will work in a bipartisan manner.
“I just want to improve things for the people of Guam. We have many serious challenges facing the island of Guam. There are solutions available to the government to help alleviate them, but we can only do this if we put party politics aside and make a positive difference for the people of Guam,” he said.
Lujan recognized that "change" weighs heavy on elected leaders doing their job after winning an election and thanked the community for putting him in a seat during the next legislative term.
“I want to thank all the voters very much. I am humbled by their vote and wanting me to serve them again in the 37th Guam Legislature,” he said. “I hope that more voters come out in the next election because their vote is their voice and, if we want to make changes, and you're not satisfied with the government or your government leaders, the way to effect change is to continue to keep the ones producing in office and, if not, change up to the folks you feel will do the job."