One senator is asking for an emergency session to address newly proposed legislation that would provide a checks and balances to executive actions, such as lifting the Administrative Adjudication Act.
Sen. James Moylan is concerned about the governor's executive order to "bypass the Administrative Adjudication Act (encoded in Chapter 3 of 5GAR) in order to create policies associated with establishing penalties, curfew statutes, and other mandates."
"While the intent is to assist in curtailing the spread of the virus, the Executive Order opens the door to potential abuse," his office states.
Moylan filed legislation this morning to include new language in the Emergency Health Powers Act, which is Chapter 19 of Title 10. The new language would, if passed, mandate that "whenever the governor bypasses a regulatory statute, order, and/or rules and regulation, that whatever policy or decision is made pursuant to § 19403(a)(1) of the Emergency Powers Act, that it is approved by the Guam Legislature."
On Wednesday, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed Executive Order 2020-38 which would authorize the Department of Public Health and Social Services to bypass what's known as the Triple A process. A process that provides senators and the community with an opportunity to comment on changes to rules and regulations that impact the island.
“While the Public Information Officer for Public Health has stated in a media interview that whatever rules are being created by their department will possibly include a public hearing, the reality is that the way the law is written, it is not mandated. This opens up a huge Pandora Box of potential abuse from this subsection of the Emergency Powers Act,” Moylan states in the release. “The governor can literally create new fees, increase existing ones inclusive of taxes, or establish questionable policies, all without public input or legislative action. The legislation that I am introducing today assures that Checks and Balances exist, because it allows the Legislature to have a say in these decisions."
Moylan will be requesting that Speaker Tina-Muna Barnes consider this measure as critical, and that an emergency session be held to address the issue.