Senators to vote on bill to limit governor’s emergency health powers

Bill No. 7-37 (COR), authored by Republican Senator Christopher M. Duenas was voted to move to the third reading file of the legislative session.

Bill 7-37 is an enhanced version of Senator Duenas’ Bill No. 11-36 (COR) which was introduced in the 36th Guam Legislature; both bills would allow for the legislature to approve the governor’s request to renew or terminate a declaration of a state of public health emergency. Guam law currently gives sole authority to the Governor. Our island was placed in a prolonged state of emergency due to executive orders and restrictions for over two years as a consequence of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Sen. Chris Duenas

“Bill 7-37 does not take away the governor’s power to declare a public health emergency nor does it question science in terms of what things might be happening when a pandemic ensues; it simply puts in place coequal checks and balances in our government so that our legislature has a say and operative reasoning moving forward,” said the author of the bill.

An amendment was proffered and passed by Democrat Senator Christopher Barnett, amending the renewal of a state of emergency from 30 days to 60 days, allowing the legislature the opportunity to scrutinize the public health emergency’s renewal.
“I support the amendment… it was reasonable… it makes sense.” said the author of the bill.

Bill 7-37 also initially aimed to impose a $25.00 fine to those that violate the rules and orders of public health isolation and quarantine facilities during a state of public health emergency, rather than a misdemeanor as currently stated in Guam law, but was retracted to compromise Speaker Therese Terlaje’s criticism which believed the fine would not serve as a deterrent to potential violators.

“I want to thank all of my colleagues for the spirited discussion on Bill 7-37. I also want to acknowledge those who voted in favor of the bill and helped to enhance it,” said Duenas.


The information above is from a news release from the Office of Senator Chris Duenas.


  • Jennifer Topasna

      08/20/2023 at 3:49 AM

    hopefully they find a solution can they also find answers to why takecare health/dental benefits from GovGuam retirree’s packet keeps returning to my mail box for the past 2 years?and why takecare keeps telling me to disreguard thos benefit packets that it was a mistake?my parents both retired from govguam plus my husband also has insurance from military i am a survivor 11 GCA information please 6719696045 [email protected] Dob 6/7/1979 one more question Guam telephone Authority my father retired 1993 Nededog Guam memorial hospital Tech 2 my Mother Mary information on retirement fund

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