Leon Guerrero vows to veto 'separation of powers' bill: 'I refuse to play games'

Guam Gov Lou Leon Guerrero

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero vowed to veto the contentious Bill 11-36, which senators narrowly passed on Monday.

"There is 'fair game' and there is 'playing games,' and I refuse to play games at the expense of people’s lives," the governor said in a statement following the passage of the bill authored by Republican Sen. Chris Duenas.

Lawmakers voted 8-7 to pass Bill 11-36 titled "Restoration of Separation of Powers Act," which would require a legislative approval for any extension of a public health emergency.

The bill, however, is at risk of hitting a dead end unless its proponents can muster more support for the proposed measure. It requires 10 votes to override the governor's veto.

"Our progress against Covid-19 didn't come by accident. It happened because we had the tools to act quickly, save lives, and build on the shared sacrifice of this community—something Bill 11-36 would endanger. That is why I will be vetoing it," the governor said.

Dismissing the Republicans' claim that the bill intends to keep the check and balances, Leon Guerrero said the proposals was a product of partisan politics.

"At any point, Republicans in the Legislature could have introduced a resolution to cancel the public health emergency or force hearings on its renewal. They did not—and that says something," she said.