Part-time legislature: The holy grail of the Republican Party of Guam

The part-time legislature is a recurring proposal that always hits a dead end. Most Guam senators never seem fond of this proposal but the Republicans don’t give up on this idea, hoping it eventually sees the light of the say.

Shortly after the inauguration of the 36th Guam Legislature, four Republican senators —Joann M. Brown, Vicente “Tony” Ada, Christopher Duenas and James C. Moylan— introduced Bill 15-36, titled “The Citizen’s Legislative Reform Act of 2021.”

The bill's authors believe the part-time legislature would attract more candidates from cross-sections of the community, as one would not have to leave their career or situation to represent their peers. It is also viewed as a way to reduce personnel cost in the legislature.

Will the part-time legislature proposal ever be taken seriously?

“It could, but it will take a major cultural shift,” said Dr. Mary Therese F. Cruz, associate professor of Political Sciences at the University of Guam. “Constituents in Guam view their senators as problem solvers—not just for the purpose of policymaking but also for solving the problems in their everyday lives.”

Guam legislatures introduce an average of 400 bills and 500 resolutions every cycle.

In the U.S. mainland, dozens of states either have a part-time or hybrid legislature.