Transgender bill fails; 17 other measures passed

SESSION: Sens. Tom Ada, left, and and Joe San Agustin talk before the start of legislative session Nov. 28 in the Guam Congress Building in Hagåtña. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Lawmakers on Monday rejected a measure to allow transgender individuals to change their legal sex designation.

However, they approved a bill granting a qualifying certificate to Core Tech Captive Insurance Corp., and narrowly approved a measure correcting a provision in the budget law that will allow the property tax increase to take effect.

Sen. Fernando Esteves' Bill 291-34 would have allowed individuals to change their legal sex designation on their birth certificates. It was defeated by a vote of 6-7 with Sens. Tom Ada, Frank Aguon Jr., Telena Nelson, Joe San Agustin, James Espaldon, Tommy Morrison and Mary Torres voting against it.

During debate on the bill, senators expressed concerns over unanswered health and legal questions.

Senators also approved an amended version of a bill granting a 100-percent corporate income tax rebate to Core Tech Captive Insurance, despite an appeal from Guam Economic Development Authority Administrator Jay Rojas not to pass it.

Rojas argued the qualifying certificate law permits a maximum 75 percent rebate and the GEDA board never recommended a 100 percent abatement on the business privilege tax that senators also approved for CTCIC. Bill 363-34 was approved by a vote of 10-3 with Sens. Nelson, Therese Terlaje and Régine Biscoe Lee objecting.

Sen. Ada's Bill 374-34 was narrowly approved by a vote of 7-6. The bill merely adds the words "or more" to the current budget law in order to avoid a potential $8 million loss in revenue for educational funding during the current fiscal year. Voting no were Sens. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., Wil Castro, Aguon, Esteves, Morrison and Biscoe Lee.

Sen. Ada's measure establishing rules and regulations governing off-premises signage was passed 9-4. Aguon, Esteves, Terlaje and Nelson voted against Bill 154-34.

Also winning passage were Nelson's two bills setting minimum qualifications for the director of the Department of Corrections and the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency.

Bill 325-34 and Bill 337-34 were approved without objection.

Voting results

Bill 32-34 – San Agustin: Provides tuition and fees benefit for merit award recipients under the student financial assistance program for higher education. Passed 13-0.

Bill 57-34 – Rodriguez: Establishes a community paramedic outreach program and grants the Emergency Medical Services commission the authority to expand the scope of emergency services. Passed 13-0.

Bill 154-34 – Ada: Establishes rules and regulations governing off-premises signage, and to amend Guam Code Annotated to expand the penalty for signage violations. Passed 9-4. Voting no were Aguon, Esteves, Terlaje and Nelson.

Bill 291-34 – Esteves: Allow individuals to change the legal sex designation on their birth certificates. Defeated 6-7. Voting no were Ada, Aguon, Nelson, San Agustin, Espaldon, Morrison and Torres.

Bill 298-34 – Ada: Authorizes the sale of Lot 31, Block 2, Tract 240 in the municipality of Dededo, consisting of 274 square meters, which is an abandoned undeveloped easement. Passed 9-4. Voting no were Aguon, Esteves, Nelson and Terlaje.

Bill 318-34 – San Agustin: Amends the Guam administration rules and regulations relative to bingo operations. Passed 13-0.

Bill 325-34 – Nelson: Amends Guam law on the "911" surcharge and the enhanced 911 emergency reporting system fund, and creates criminal liability for violations. Passed 13-0.

Bill 331-34 – Aguon: Approves the architectural and engineering design for the rehabilitation and improvement of the Harmon Industrial Park Roadway. Passed 11-1. Voting no was Terlaje.

Bill 332-34 – Castro: Names the Guam Police Department's central precinct in Sinajana the "Lieutenant Concepcion 'Connie' Balajadia Dueñas Police Station." Passed 13-0.

Bill 334-34 – Aguon: Amends Guam law to extend the timeline for obtaining exemptions and exceptions for social worker licensure upon the promulgation and enactment of the rules and regulations. Passed 13-0.

• Bill 337-34 – Nelson: Amends Guam law to mandate the qualification requirements of the director of the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency. Passed 9-4. Voting no were Sen. Michael San Nicolas, Ada, Torres and Rodriguez.

Bill 338-34 – Nelson: Amends Guam law to mandate the qualification requirements of the director of the Department of Corrections. Passed 9-4. Voting no were Ada, Torres, San Nicolas and Rodriguez.

Bill 343-34 – Ada: Exempts Lot B-1, Tract 111, Tumon, in the municipality of Tamuning from the alienation and reverter clause as stipulated in Public Law 21-14 section 9(d). Passed 12-1. Voting no was Esteves.

Bill 347-34 – Rodriguez: Designates Route 7 (Halsey Drive and Spruance Drive) as Korean War Veterans Drive to pay special tribute to all veterans who served in the Korean War. Passed 13-0. 

Bill 348-34 – Ada: Authorizes the governor to sell 69 square meters of a portion of the old Agana-Piti Road to the estate of Artemio M. Ilagan, deceased. Passed 12-1. Voting no was Esteves.

Bill 363-34 – Rodriguez: Grants and approves the qualifying certificate negotiated by Core Tech Captive Insurance Corp. and the Guam Economic Development Authority – qualifying certificate No. 255, GEDA Document No. 18-0293 – to rebate income taxes. Passed 10-3. Voting no were Nelson, Terlaje and Biscoe Lee.

Bill 364-34 – Aguon: Authorizes the office of the mayor of Talofofo and the Municipal Planning Council of Talofofo to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Guam Football Association for the construction of a sports facility. Passed 13-0.

Bill 374-34 – Ada: Clarifies that the additional tax levy on real property improvements applies to property valued at $1 million "or more." Passed 7-6. Voting no were Aguon, Castro, Esteves, Morrison, Rodriguez and Biscoe Lee.

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