By Johnnie Rosario
(Tumon, Guam) Like Lazarus, Vice Speaker Telena Nelson's hazard pay bill was raised from the voting file and reopened for live debate today. On Thursday, Ms. Nelson's bill was amended to disqualify government of Guam employees who are working during this emergency from receiving double pay, which is standard during emergency activations.
The bill was fully debated by senators then sent to the voting file Thursday, where bills are voted upon without further debate.
Today the vice speaker brought her bill back from the voting file to be debated so she could correct the original amendment and again qualify GovGuam workers for the double pay. Her amendment also clarified that hazard pay defined in law and further implemented in a tiered structure via executive order will be added on top of the double pay.
While the Guam Legislature is reinforcing the double pay provisions already found in GovGuam's personnel rules and regulations (if this bill passes into law), the Leon Guerrero administration has not been following the law and has not been paying its frontline workers at double the rate of pay since the public health emergency started.
The Governor's Office has ignored Kandit's inquiry on the matter.