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Compromise? Guam mayors retain control of Liberation Day

Senator Nelson pulls bill, proposing instead gambling free funding through Guam Visitors Bureau

How to pay for Guam's Liberation Day events without hustling local residents through gambling booths and various games of chance, as has become traditional?

Vice Speaker Telena C. Nelson has argued that citizens of Guam have consistently voted against legalizing a variety of gambling venues and has sought another way to finance the traditional celebration of the Worldl War II event.

Nelson, "after much thought and consideration" has withdrawn Bill 33-35 and has introduced Bill 43-35 to fund Liberation Day plans proposed by the Mayors Council of Guam.

“In a showing of compromise and respect for our mayors, I’ve listened to their concerns and believe this is a solution we can all agree on,” said Vice Speaker Nelson. “I thank the mayors for their continued hard work in our community and islandwide. I appreciate their dedication to planning Liberation Day and believe they will continue to engage the community in their preparations.”

Bill 43-35 proposes to leave the mayors as the authority and oversight of the Guam Island Fair Committee, including all Liberation Day festivities, and seeks to solve the mayors’ funding problem by still involving the Guam Visitors Bureau.

The bill would appropriate $500,000 from GVB’s Rainy Day Fund to MCOG specifically for Liberation Day. The money doesn’t come out of the government’s general fund and wouldn’t be the proceeds of casino-style games of chance, which Nelson still opposes.

“I will continue to fight gambling because the people have said no to it numerous times,” Nelson said. “We identified a new funding source for their festivities that doesn’t depend on gambling.”


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