Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has vetoed Bill No. 12-37, setting into motion the possibility of an override, which may end her dogged agenda to build a billion-dollar medical campus at Eagles Field, Mangilao.
The current owner of the land – the United States Navy – has given the governor until April 4, 2023 to sign the lease. Upon that deadline, the Navy may repurpose the land for military housing if GovGuam won’t use it for a hospital, according to the governor’s lamentations.
Ms. Leon Guerrero has refused to consider the one piece of property formerly used as a hospital, and donated by the late businessman and philanthropist, Frank Perez, for a hospital: Hospital Point, Tamuning.
Doctors, businessmen, community activists, senators, and professionals familiar with hospital development all have implored the governor to give up her Mangilao push, and to build the hospital in Tamuning.
The proposed lease between the Navy and GovGuam for Eagles Field can be signed by the governor without legislative approval, according to current Guam law. The governor has hit a snag in her rush to sign the lease prior to the legislature enacting Bill No. 12 that will require the legislature to approve any such lease: the proposed lease currently is under legal review by the attorney general, Douglas Moylan.
According to the governor’s five-page letter, which chiefly was an attack on senators for wanting transparency in her thus-far opaque development that will spend $1 billion of public funds, Mr. Moylan has said he will complete his review of the lease prior to April 3.
This makes action on Bill No. 12-37 a race to limit the governor’s current unilateral powers to sign a 50-year lease for a billion-dollar project the planning of which the governor has refused to allow senators or the general public to view.
If senators override the veto, Ms. Leon Guerrero may be forced to share control of this program. And according to her letter, that’s the last thing she wants happening.