"Focus your energy and efforts towards your community, because it is there you can begin to change the world." 

NELSON INTRODUCES BILL TO ENSURE AUTONOMOUS AGENCIES PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF THE GENERAL FUND

March 07, 2018

(Hagåtña, Guam) – Today, Senator Telena Cruz Nelson introduced Bill No. 252-34 (COR), which would require that the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port of Guam comes into compliance, and continues to comply, with § 22421 of Chapter 22, Title 5 Guam Code Annotated, which requires autonomous agencies to contribute into the General Fund.


Payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) payments were originally implemented in 1985, by Public Law 18-15, as a means to collect revenues from autonomous agencies that benefited from General Fund services such as police and fire protection, road systems, and other governmental facilities. PILOT payments are a fair and equitable means of collecting funds from revenue-generating autonomous agencies, rather than an actual levy of real estate taxes, such as those imposed on private business ventures.


Senator Nelson stated, “This is nothing new. We are simply asking that the Port follow the law, as applicable to them and other autonomous agencies, especially as they head into the bond market, which the Legislature approved earlier this term. It is important to ensure that everyone contributes their fair share, especially in light of this financial crisis.”

 

§ 22421 of Chapter 22, Title 5 Guam Code Annotated further states that the transfer of funds from autonomous agencies to the General Fund shall not violate the terms and conditions of any bond covenant of the agencies. With the Port heading to the bond market, it is imperative that both the Port and bond investors are aware of this provision as both parties enter into a bond covenant. Though both the Guam Power Authority and Guam International Airport Authority are legally obligated to make PILOT payments, enforcing them to do so at this point in time would in be in violation of their existing bond covenants.  Moving forward, it is crucial that all future bond covenants are entered into in accordance with Guam law.

SENATOR NELSON INTRODUCES BILL TO ELIMINATE TAX EXEMPTION ON LIQUID FUEL AND APPROPRIATE REVENUES TO GUAM EPA, GFD, & GPD. CO-SPON. SENATOR DENNIS RODRIGUEZ & SENATOR TOM ADA

March 13, 2018

SENATOR NELSON INTRODUCES BILL TO ELIMINATE TAX EXEMPTION ON LIQUID FUEL AND APPROPRIATE REVENUES TO GUAM ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, GUAM POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND GUAM FIRE DEPARTMENT

(Hagåtña, Guam)- Senator Telena Cruz Nelson introduced Bill No. 257-34 (LS), which eliminates the tax exemption on liquid fuel transshipped through Guam and appropriates revenues collected from lifting the exemption to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA), the Guam Police Department (GPD) and the Guam Fire Department (GFD).

 

Approximately thirty million (30M) gallons of liquid fuel are transferred annually from petroleum storage facilities in Guam to distribution points outside of Guam. Fuel to be transshipped is off-loaded at the Port of Guam, stored in the distributor's storage tanks for a period of time, and later back-loaded onto smaller fuel tankers for distribution throughout the Micronesian region. It is estimated that elimination of the tax exemption on liquid fuels exported from Guam may generate as much as Four Million Five Hundred Dollars ($4.5M) annually.

 

The transshipment of liquid fuel through Guam’s petroleum facilities puts Guam’s environment at risk; a risk which is recognized by the fact that petroleum handling organizations are required to take out insurance to cover for potential damages that may result from fuel spills. As Guam’s facilities get older, these risks become greater. Hence, removal of the tax exemption on transshipped petroleum, enacted approximately three decades ago, is considered compensation for Guam’s exposure to the risks to its environment.

 

“This revenue stream will provide a funding that has not been available to the people of Guam for many years. Bill 257-34 (LS) will ensure that Guam’s public safety officers can seek the training and equipment to respond to potential emergencies of such high magnitude,” Senator Nelson continued, “Our first responders are members of our families and friends and I want to ensure they are provided with the resources and tools to perform their duties as public safety officers. This legislation is committed to our community’s preparedness and protection from harmful events.”

 

Revenue generated from the assessment will be deposited into funds to be used strictly by the GEPA’s Guam Environmental Trust Fund (20%), the GPD’s Police Service Fund (40%) and the GFD’s Fire, Life and Medical Emergency Fund (‘FLAME’) (40%).

 

Co-sponsors for Bill No. 257-34 (LS) include Senator Thomas C. Ada and Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.

SENATOR TELENA CRUZ NELSON INTRODUCES BILL ADDING NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR MASSAGE THERAPISTS

January 07, 2018

(Hagåtña, Guam) Senator Telena Cruz Nelson introduced Bill No. 226-34, which seeks to add educational requirements and a thorough certification process for massage therapists.  Bill No. 226-34 would place massage therapy and massage therapists under the jurisdiction of the Guam Board of Allied Health alongside chiropractors, physical therapists, and other health specialists.  These certifications shall serve to ensure that massage therapists are providing quality massage therapy and have the certification to show that they are properly trained to do so.  The bill not only requires the Allied Health Board to certify massage therapists, but also mandates that they complete continuing education to maintain their certification.  Bill No. 226-34 also establishes a scope of practice that all massage therapists and practitioners must adhere to.

“As it stands right now, there are many gaps in how we enforce massage therapy and massage on Guam,” Senator Nelson stated. “One provision of the bill sets the proper practices of massage practitioners and therapists.  By doing that, we create a measure of accountability to hold massage practitioners and therapists to.”

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards released a report connecting massage therapy and human trafficking, which shows that between 6,500 and 9,000 illicit businesses use massage therapy as a front for human trafficking.

Senator Nelson aims to narrow the gap for potential human trafficking to our island with Bill No. 226-34.  Defining the scope of practice and requiring certification and continuing education under law would make massage therapy requirements strenuous enough to become an unappealing industry for human trafficking.

 

“With this bill, we hope to ensure that a massage therapist’s practice is clearly defined by law with a standard in place for all those who practice massage on island.  Through these standards, we hope that the practice of massage is no longer at risk to the possibility of human trafficking.  Human trafficking is an issue that affects countless lives around the world and we must do our part locally to take all steps to prevent it from entering our shores,” Senator Nelson concluded.

SENATOR NELSON’S BILL TO REFINANCE GUAM POWER AUTHORITY REVENUE BONDS PASSES

December 04, 2017

(Hagåtña, Guam) Senator Telena Cruz Nelson’s Bill No. 139-34 (COR) As amended in the Committee of the Whole- “AN ACT TO APPROVE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF GUAM POWER AUTHORITY (GPA) REVENUE BONDS TO REFUND OUTSTANDING GUAM POWER AUTHORITY REVENUE BONDS,” passed 14-0-1 this morning during Session. This measure approves the terms and conditions of the Guam Power Authority to refund outstanding 2010A revenue bonds, which comes at timely moment as it is at its low. The Series 2010A Revenue Bonds’ original issuance was $150,000,000. The estimated savings can range from $9M to $10.5M in total interest savings over the remaining life of the loan (22 years) at an estimated $416,000 to $463,000 per year in annual debt service.

 

“Today the ratepayers win. I would like to thank my colleagues for voting in support of this measure that our ratepayers are able to benefit from along with the management of the Guam Power Authority, the members of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities and the Public Utilities Commission for diligently working with my Committee to ensure this legislation of refinancing will save more money for ratepayers as interest rates continue to remain low,” Senator Nelson stated.

SENATOR NELSON’S RESOLUTION 228-34 (COR) PASSES WITH OVERWHELMING SUPPORT TO PROHIBIT LIVE FIRING RANGE IN NORTHWEST FIELD

September 25, 2017

(Hagåtña, Guam) – Senator Telena Cruz Nelson’s Resolution No. 228-34 (COR) As substituted on the Floor- “Relative to calling for a pause on construction and pre-construction activities related to the U.S. Department of the Navy’s proposed Live-Fire Training Range Complex at Northwest Field until final determinations are made by the U.S. Department of Defense as to the series of associated live-fire training ranges in Guam and the CNMI, and all related active litigation is resolved, in order to ensure the protection of the environmental and cultural resources of the northern coastline of Guam,” passed during today’s Legislative Session.

 

Senator Nelson stated, “If we do not stand up now, we sit silently and wait for a roundtable hearing when we see the public’s outcry, for me it sends one message: We do not hear you. These people elected us into office and our job is to serve them first, not our special interest. Not set the dollar over the value of a life and our culture,” she continued, “Para bai hu Prutehi yan hu Difende i Hinengge, i Kottura, i Lengguahi, i Aire, i Hanom yan i tano’ Chamoru. This is what we stand for. Why will we deny ourselves this? Why will we deny the people this? Why will we deny them our action?”

 

Senator Nelson deeply expresses her appreciation to her colleagues but most importantly, to various stakeholders that contributed to the resolution, provided testimonies and have fought tirelessly and wholeheartedly through the years in protecting our island’s sacred spaces and its people.  Even with an absence of a supporting colleague, we were able to garnish an overwhelming support to pass this significant resolution.

 

“This is not the end solution but this is a momentous stepping stone for our people as an island and as a united body to take action and represent our people,” Senator Nelson noted.

Commending Community Champion Barbara C. Mafnas, IBCLC

August 30, 2017

Resolution No. 205-34 Relative to commending and recognizingBarbara C. Mafnas for her outstanding and selfless work in making herself a breastfeeding resource to parents through her ‘breastfeeding hot-line’ and extending a warm Un Dångkolo na Si Yu’os Ma’åse for all the work that she has done for children, families and the people of Guam through her work in breastfeeding consulting, education, volunteering, and advocacy.

Honoring the late Captain Jesus Garcia Mesa

July 27, 2017

Resolution No. 185-34 Relative to posthumously recognizing and honoring the late Captain Jesus Garcia Mesa on the occasion of being given the proper interment and military honors he so rightfully deserved; and to further expressing a warm I Liheslaturan Guáhan to him for his commitment and sacrifice to the people of Guam and the United States of America through his service in the United States Army and the Guam Police Department.

Sen. Telena Nelson backs bill to create task force, promote renewable energy options

July 23, 2017

SENATOR NELSON PROPOSES TASK FORCE TO FURTHER

RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION ON GUAM

 

(Hagåtña, Guam) – On Thursday, April 13, Senator Telena Cruz Nelson introduced Bill No. 78-34 (COR), a measure that would establish a task force of stakeholders to advise and plan for the expansion of renewable energy on Guam. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Régine Biscoe Lee and Dennis Rodriguez.

 

 

 

“With Guam Power Authority projecting plans to expand power generation by 180 megawatts, it is vital that renewable energy is a part of that plan,” Senator Nelson stated. “By expanding renewable energy, we avoid the instability of the fossil fuel market, which raises prices for our residents. Our island holds the capacity and resources to become pioneers in our region for sustainable renewable energy.”

 

 “As the rest of the world shifts away from fossil fuels, it’s critical that Guam becomes a leader in renewable energy,” Senator Biscoe Lee said. “Not only does the expansion of solar, wind and other carbon-reducing energy promise a cleaner, more environmentally friendly future, it offers an opportunity for Guam to diversify its economy and create vibrant new industries.”

 

“The more our island expands the more creative our approach must be when it comes to generating energy.” Senator Rodriguez stated. “Guam is a beautiful island with so much wind and sun and it’s time we truly take advantage of it.”

 

“With this bill, I hope to ensure that energy generation without fossil fuels is done in an efficient and affordable way that benefits our people and builds a sustainable future for Guam. We owe it to our people to develop innovative renewable energy policies that will produce promising alternatives to how we as an island depend on power,” Nelson concluded. 

The task force would submit findings by the end of December to the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, GPA and the Legislature. Thereafter they would submit annual reports to related agencies.

 

  • Task force membership would include one representative each from:

  • the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability;

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory;

  • the chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Utilities;

  • the Guam Environmental Protection Agency administrator;

  • an environmental advocacy group.

There also would be four representatives from the private renewable energy industry.

Senator Nelson forms Inafa' Guma Mami - Guam Housing Task Force

July 23, 2017

Inafa'Guma Mami - Guam Housing Task Force focuses on three key areas:

 

1) Aiding First-time home buyers attaining homeownership

2) Aiding existing land and homeowners in building infrastructure

3) Assisting homewonerson the brink of foreclosure 

Guam Housing Task Force: Inafa’ Guma Måmi

Members:

Senator Telena Cruz Nelson, Chairwoman, 34 th Guam Legislature
Vice-Speaker Therese Terlaje, 34 th Guam Legislature
Senator Régine Biscoe Lee, 34 th Guam Legislature
Lou Leon Guerrero, President, Bank of Guam
Philip Flores, President, BankPacific, Ltd.
Gener Deliquina, CEO, Coast 360 FCU
Cathy Champaco, Lending Manager, Coast 360 FCU
Gerard Cruz, President, Community First Guam FCU
Siska Hautapea, President, Cornerstone Valuation
Michael Duenas, Executive Director, GHURA
Pedro Leon Guerrero, Deputy Director, GHURA
Christopher Duenas, President, Guam Housing Corporation
Peggy Llagas, CEO, Guam Association of Realtors
Carlos Camacho, Ironwood Property Management
Joseph Diego, Rural Development Area Director, USDA
Diana Calvo, Guam Homeless Coalition
Suzanne Naputi, Realtor, Today’s Realty
Clare Delgado, Realtor, Century 21

LAND FOR THE LANDLESS BILL PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

June 29, 2017

(Hagåtña, Guam) In February of this year, Senator Telena Cruz Nelson introduced Bill No. 26-34 (COR), a measure to extend the timelines and means of notification for Land for the Landless purchases. According to the bill’s legislative findings, a 2011 report listed four hundred forty-three (443) defaulted accounts. In 2016, this number was reduced to three hundred fifty-six (356), with thirty-nine (39) families in homes built on defaulted lots. During the public hearing for the legislation, Land Administrator Margarita Borja confirmed that the current number of defaulted lots is two hundred forty (240). As the number of default accounts decreased with time, Senator Nelson introduced the legislation to extend the timeline for payments made on Land for the Landless lots.  After two town hall meetings, the chairperson for the Committee on Environment, Land, Agriculture, and Procurement Reform, the Honorable Senator Thomas C. Ada held a public hearing on Bill No. 26-34 (COR). On June 30, 2017, Bill No. 26-34 (COR) passed when all fifteen (15) senators of the 34th Guam Legislature voted in support of the measure.

 

In response to that passage, Senator Nelson stated:

 

I am humbled to have introduced this legislation, and I am hopeful that our families will maintain their homes under the Land for the Landless program. As the chairperson for the Committee on Housing, I have seen firsthand what homelessness can do to our families, our elders, and our children. These lots belong to our people – it is upon them that our people have built their livelihoods and raised their families. With this timeline, the hundreds of people who were originally granted land under the Land for the Landless program will have the time to find the resources to secure their homes and create their legacies.

 

In addition, Senator Nelson plans to work collaboratively with the Department of Land Management to continually lower the number of defaulted accounts and secure other resources the department may require. In addition, she expresses her appreciation to her colleagues who, on the 30th of June 2017, voted unanimously in support of Bill No. 26-34 (COR), extending her gratitude to both supporters and opponents of this crucial legislation. Senator Nelson also thanks the Dededo Mayor, the Honorable Melissa Savares and the Inarajan Mayor, the Honorable Doris F. Lujan who hosted the town hall meetings for Bill No. 26-34 (COR), and all mayors who represented the interests of their people by conveying the importance of these land and home issues to the Office of Senator Nelson.

SENATOR NELSON’S ANTI-GAMBLING BILL LAPSES INTO LAW

June 07, 2017

For the first time in legislative history, the full legislative body Votes "NO" to gambling initiatives on island with a 15-0 vote. 

 

(Hagåtña, Guam) Over the last ten years, the People of Guam have voted against gambling initiatives. The rise of casino activities and the hotbeds of gambling addiction have been met with opposition. Senator Telena Cruz Nelson is proud to announce that Bill No. 50-34 (COR), the measure to remove exemptions previously granted to casino gambling and the devices thereof, has lapsed into law.

 

Bill 50-34 (COR) was originally met with controversy when it was introduced in March of this year by Senator Telena Cruz Nelson and Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz. In April, Senator Nelson held the public hearing for Bill 50 where the public had the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the bill. Although the bill was not originally placed on the session agenda, Senator Nelson requested that Senator Joe S. San Agustin, the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance and Taxation submit the committee report for the measure. Bill 50 was debated on the session floor before being sent to the voting file. During the voting period, Bill 50 was met without opposition, receiving unanimous support from the 34th Guam Legislature.  

 

Senator Nelson is humbled by the bill lapsing into law:

 

Today, Bill No. 50-34 (COR) lapsed into law. Sponsored by my colleague, the Honorable Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz, I could not be more humbled to represent the interests of the people with this measure. I am looking forward to the safe environment of the carnivals for the families and youth of this island. Above all, I am looking forward to celebrating the real meaning behind Guam’s Liberation Day. The time has come to honor our people and commemorate our history with festivities that focus on freedom and Guam’s return to a democracy.

 

Senator Nelson expresses her appreciation to her colleagues who unanimously supported Bill No. 50-34 (COR). She extends her appreciation to Dr. Jose Q. Cruz of Lina’la Sin Casino, Jackie A. Marati of Keep Guam Good, the Dungca and Arriola families, Most Rev. Michael Jude Byrnes, Coadjutor Archbishop of Agana, Rev. Dr. Albert Alquero, Founder and Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Church, and all supporters and opponents of this critical legislation.  

Nelson Recognizes First Female Guam Guard Member to Gradute from US War College

January 01, 2020

Senator Nelson authors Resolution No. 151-34 (COR). First Relative to commending and recognizing Lieutenant Colonel Esther J.C. Aguigui for being the first female from the Guam Army National Guard to graduate from the United States Army War College and to further extending a warm Un Dângkolo na Si Yu'os Ma'âse to her for her continued dedication, selfless service and sacrifices to the people of Guam and the United States of America.

Resolution No. 120-34 (COR) Mandaña T.E.A.C.H

June 01, 2017

Relative to recognizing and extending a warm Un Dângkolo na Si Yu'os Ma'âse to the Graduating Candidates of the University of Guam Master of Public Administration Spring 2017 Cohort for their proposed curriculum entitled "Mandaña T.E.A.C.H." aimed at teaching, empowering and changing the hearts of children to become more repsonsble, respectful, ethical, well-educated, law-abiding and succesful members of society; and to further extending our best wishes to these graduating students in their future endeavors, on behalf of the people of Guam.

Resolution No. 45-34 (COR) -Safety from Radiation

February 16, 2017

RELATIVE TO EXPRESSING THE SUPPORT OF I MINA'TRENTA KUÅTTRO NA LIHESLATURAN GUÅHAN TO ADVOCATE FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND SCIENTISTS TO MONITOR COASTAL ZONES ON GUAM AND MICRONESIA FROM THE POSSIBLE DOWNSTREAM EFFECTS OF THE FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI POWERPLANT NUCLEAR ACCIDENT AND TO ESTABLISH WORKING SESSIONS TO ASSESS THE SAFETY OF AND RISK OF RADIATION IN SEAFOOD PRODUCTS FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

Resolution No. 65-34 (COR)

April 03, 2017

Relative to recognizing and commending the Honorable Alicia Anne Garrido Limtiaco for her outstanding accomplishments as the United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; and to further extending Un Dångkolo Na Si Yuʹos Maʹåse to her for her commitment and exemplary service to the people of Guam and to Guam’s justice system.

Resolution No. 33-34 (COR)

March 07, 2017

Relative to recognizing and commending Holly M. Rustick for her commitment, dedication, and significant contributions in advocating for the protection of the fundamental human dignity of victims of human trafficking; and to further extending Un Dångkolo Na Si Yu'os Ma’åse' to her for her due diligence and selfless efforts to increasing awareness and finding viable solutions to combat human trafficking in our community and throughout the world.

Invitation To Town Hall Meeting: Bill 26-34 (COR)

February 27, 2017

Dear People of Guam:
 

Buenas yan Hafa Adai! As the sponsor of Bill 26-34 (COR)- “An act to amend Section 3 of Public Law 33-104 and Section 2 of Public Law 33-176, relative to extending timelines and means of notification for Land for the Landless purchasers,” I would like to invite you to participate in the following Town Hall Meetings:
 
1)     Thursday, March 2nd, 2017, 5:30 P.M. at the Dededo Mayor’s Office
2)     Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at 6:30 P.M. at the Inarajan Community Center

Senator Nelson Establishes Housing Task Force: "Inafa' Guma Mami"

February 20, 2017

Senator Telena Cruz Nelson is currently meeting with stakeholders to create a housing task force to aid our island's first-time and current homeowners. This task force will be called "Inafa' Guma Mami", translated "to make our home better".

Resolution No. 17-34 (COR) for Introduction by Senator Telena C. Nelson for Command Sergeant Major Agnes Quintanilla Diaz

January 24, 2017

Relative to congratulating and commending Command Sergeant Major Agnes Quintanilla Diaz for being the first guardswoman of the Guam Army National Guard, Barrigada, Guam to attend the Sargeants Major Academy Resident Course, and a 2015 Class 65 graduate of the Sargeant Major Academy, Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas; and also for being the first guardswoman to the 203rd Regional Training Institute; and to further extending Un Dångkolo Na Si Yu'os Ma'ase' to her for her dedication, and selfless service and sacrifices to the people of Guam and her country.

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