Hagåtña, Guam – Answering the cries and concerns of local preservationists, the oversight chairperson of the Committee on Guåhan Preservation has requested an opinion from the Attorney General regarding the recently signed Programmatic Agreement (PA).
Senator Telena Cruz Nelson issued a letter to the Attorney General of Guam on Thursday requesting a legal opinion on whether the Programmatic Agreement should be null and void in light of the lack of public review and consent, which would have been conducted through the authority of the Guam Legislature. Senator Nelson recounted that the Governor’s Chief Advisor on Military and Regional Affairs was appointed the Acting State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on November 17, 2020. The Programmatic Agreement was subsequently signed by the Acting SHPO and Governor on December 29, 2020.
At issue is whether the agreement, with the Governor’s signature, is valid in light of a 1982 Superior Court of Guam case opining that “if the Governor has authority to execute federal laws applicable in Guam, then execution of such laws becomes a ‘subject of local application’ which the Guam Legislature is empowered under the Organic Act of Guam to legislate in such matters to assist the Governor in the enforcement of his duties.”
“Requesting this legal opinion is not an effort to derail the Programmatic Agreement, but is an effort to ensure that the People of Guam are afforded a public forum for their voices to be heard on issues that concern them to as much extent as possible,” Senator Nelson said. “This inquiry has the potential to pave a path towards ensuring legislative authority is not overstepped and providing our people greater opportunity to review and respond to actions that affect our land and sacred spaces.”
For more information, please contact Tihu Lujan at The Office of Senator
Telena Cruz Nelson at (671) 989-7696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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