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Bill introduced to fix war claims law

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Speaker Therese Terlaje has introduced a bill to correct the costly error in the law that extends the application for Guam's local war claims program.

Bill 217-36 would amend the law to remove the phrase "regardless of the time of death,” which would expand the war claims eligibility and cost the government of Guam $150 million.

Speaker Therese Terlaje

The phrase was curiously inserted into Bill 130-36 despite the appropriations committee's rejection of the amendment when it was proposed. It was signed as P.L. 36-59

Terlaje said Bill 217-36 qualified for a public hearing waiver by statute.

Once Bill 217-36 was introduced Monday morning, the legislature reconvened right before lunch and had quorum to continue with the session agenda.

Terlaje moved Bill 217-36 onto the session agenda and requested that discussion on Bill 217-36 (LS) be suspended until Nov. 1 to ensure the public is given five-day notification for agenda items as required by Section 4(d) of Public Law 36-34.

“Our manåmko' have traveled the long, hard road to achieve justice and recognition for their suffering during the Japanese occupation. Their sacrifice demands our genuine effort and support," Terlaje said.

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"I have willingly put my name on this corrective measure when nobody else would, simply because it’s the right thing to do for our war survivors. And while I still believe there is much more work to be done to achieve true justice for them, this is one step,” she added.

All bills on the current agenda were passed on file until the November session. All confirmations will be addressed on Nov. 1. The legislative session will be in recess until Nov. 1 to discuss Bill 217-36 and all confirmations on the session agenda.

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