[USC02] 48 USC CHAPTER 8A, SUBCHAPTER III: THE LEGISLATURE
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48 USC CHAPTER 8A, SUBCHAPTER III: THE LEGISLATURE
From Title 48—TERRITORIES AND INSULAR POSSESSIONSCHAPTER 8A—GUAM

SUBCHAPTER III—THE LEGISLATURE

§1423. Legislature of Guam

(a) Unicameral nature; power

The legislative power and authority of Guam shall be vested in a legislature, consisting of a single house, to be designated the "Legislature of Guam", herein referred to as the legislature.

(b) Size of legislature; prohibition against denial of equal protection; at large and district representation

The legislature shall be composed of not to exceed twenty-one members, to be known as senators, elected at large, or elected from legislative districts or elected in part at large and in part from legislative districts, as the laws of Guam may direct: Provided, That any districting and any apportionment pursuant to this authorization and provided for by the laws of Guam shall not deny to any person in Guam the equal protection of the laws: And provided further, That in any elections to the legislature, every elector shall be permitted to vote for the whole number of at-large candidates to be elected, and every elector residing in a legislative district shall be permitted to vote for the whole number of candidates to be elected within that district.

(c) Reapportionment; Federal census base

Any districting and related apportionment pursuant to this section shall be based upon the then most recent Federal population census of Guam, and any such districting and apportionment shall be reexamined following each successive Federal population census of Guam and shall be modified, if necessary, to be consistent with that census.

(d) Timing of biennial elections

General elections to the legislature shall be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, biennially in even-numbered years. The legislature in all respects shall be organized and shall sit according to the laws of Guam.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §10, 64 Stat. 387; Pub. L. 89–552, §1, Sept. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 375; Pub. L. 98–213, §5(b), Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1460.)

Amendments

1983—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–213 substituted "Any" for "The laws of Guam shall not alter the manner in which members of the legislature are to be elected as provided in subsection (b) of this section more often than at ten-year intervals: Provided, That any".

1966Pub. L. 89–552 authorized election of senators in whole or in part from legislative districts if the laws of Guam so directed, provided that the legislators be called senators, prohibited any districting or apportionment which denied equal protection of the laws to any person in Guam, required that electors be permitted to vote for the whole number of candidates to be elected both within his district and at large, prohibited reapportionment oftener than at 10-year intervals, and required that any redistricting be based upon the latest Federal census.

Amendment of Laws of Guam To Conform to Changes Made by Pub. L. 89–552

Pub. L. 89–552, §2, Sept. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 376, provided that: "As soon as practicable after enactment of this Act [Sept. 2, 1966], and subject to the conditions and requirements of section 10 of the Organic Act of Guam, as amended by section 1 hereof [this section], the laws of Guam shall be amended to make provision for the manner of the election of members of the legislature. Until the laws of Guam shall make such provision the method of electing the legislature shall remain as it is upon the date of enactment of this Act."

§1423a. Power of legislature; limitation on indebtedness of Guam; bond issues; guarantees for purchase by Federal Financing Bank of Guam Power Authority bonds or other obligations; interest rates; default

The legislative power of Guam shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter and the laws of the United States applicable to Guam. Taxes and assessments on property, internal revenues, sales, license fees, and royalties for franchises, privileges, and concessions may be imposed for purposes of the government of Guam as may be uniformly provided by the Legislature of Guam, and when necessary to anticipate taxes and revenues, bonds and other obligations may be issued by the government of Guam: Provided, however, That no public indebtedness of Guam shall be authorized or allowed in excess of 10 per centum of the aggregate tax valuation of the property in Guam. Bonds or other obligations of the government of Guam payable solely from revenues derived from any public improvement or undertaking shall not be considered public indebtedness of Guam within the meaning of this section. All bonds issued by the government of Guam or by its authority shall be exempt, as to principal and interest, from taxation by the Government of the United States or by the government of Guam, or by any State or Territory or any political subdivision thereof, or by the District of Columbia. The Secretary of the Interior (hereafter in this section referred to as "Secretary") is authorized to guarantee for purchase by the Federal Financing Bank bonds or other obligations of the Guam Power Authority maturing on or before December 31, 1978, which shall be issued in order to refinance short-term notes due or existing on June 1, 1976 and other indebtedness not evidenced by bonds or notes in an aggregate amount of not more than $36 million, and such bank, in addition to its other powers, is authorized to purchase, receive or otherwise acquire these same. The interest rate on obligations purchased by the Federal Financing Bank shall be not less than a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury taking into consideration the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities, adjusted to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum, plus 1 per centum per annum. The Secretary, with the concurrence of the Secretary of the Treasury, may extend the guarantee provision of the previous sentence until December 31, 1980. The Secretary, upon determining that the Guam Power Authority is unable to refinance on reasonable terms the obligations purchased by the Federal Financing Bank under the fifth sentence of this section by December 31, 1980, may, with the concurrence of the Secretary of the Treasury, guarantee for purchase by the Federal Financing Bank; and such bank is authorized to purchase, obligations of the Guam Power Authority issued to refinance the principal amount of the obligations guaranteed under the fifth sentence of this section. The obligations that refinance such principal amount shall mature not later than December 31, 1990, and shall bear interest at a rate determined in accordance with section 2285 of title 12. At the request of the Board of Directors of the Guam Power Authority for a second refinancing agreement and conditioned on the approval of the Government of Guam pursuant to the law of Guam, and conditioned on the establishment of an independent rate-making authority by the Government of Guam, the Secretary may guarantee for purchase by the Federal Financing Bank, on or before December 31, 1984, according to an agreement that shall provide for—

(a) substantially equal semiannual installments of principal and interest;

(b) maturity of obligations no later than December 31, 2004;

(c) authority for the Secretary, should there be a violation of a provision of this legislation, or covenants or stipulations contained in the refinancing document and after giving sixty days notice of such violation to the Guam Power Authority and the Governor of Guam, to dismiss members of the Board of Directors or the general manager of the Guam Power Authority, and (1) appoint in their place members or a general manager who shall serve at the pleasure of the Secretary, or (2) contract for the management of the Guam Power Authority; and

(d) an annual simple interest rate of seven per centum; and


the Federal Financing Bank shall purchase such Guam Power Authority obligations if such Guam Power Authority obligations are issued to refinance the principal amount scheduled to mature on December 31, 1990. Should such second refinancing occur, (1) the independent rate-making authority to be established by the Government of Guam, or in its absence, the Board of Directors of the Guam Power Authority, shall establish rates sufficient to satisfy all financial obligations and future capital investment needs of the Guam Power Authority that shall be consistent with generally accepted rate-making practices of public utilities, and (2) the Government of Guam shall not modify the requirements of such refinancing agreement without agreement of the Secretary. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior for payment to the Federal Financing Bank such sums as are necessary to pay (1) the repurchase payment required under the fifth paragraph of the December 31, 1980, note from the Guam Power Authority to the Federal Financing Bank and any subsequent repurchase payments required under the second refinancing agreement, and (2) the interest rate differential between the seven per centum to be paid by the Guam Power Authority and the second refinancing agreement and the interest rate that would otherwise be determined in accordance with the above cited section 2285 of title 12. Should the Guam Power Authority fail to pay in full any installment of interest or principal when due on the bonds or other obligations guaranteed under this section, the Secretary of the Treasury, upon notice from the Secretary shall deduct and pay to the Federal Financing Bank or the Secretary, according to their respective interests, such unpaid amounts from sums collected and payable pursuant to section 1421h of this title. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, Acts making appropriations may provide for the withholding of any payments from the United States to the government of Guam which may be or may become due pursuant to any law and offset the amount of such withheld payments against any claim the United States may have against the government of Guam or the Guam Power Authority pursuant to this guarantee. For the purpose of this chapter, under section 3713(a) of title 31 the term "person" includes the government of Guam and the Guam Power Authority. The Secretary may place such stipulations as he deems appropriate on the bonds or other obligations he guarantees.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §11, 64 Stat. 387; Pub. L. 94–395, Sept. 3, 1976, 90 Stat. 1199; Pub. L. 96–205, title III, §303, Mar. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 88; Pub. L. 98–454, title II, §203, Oct. 5, 1984, 98 Stat. 1733; Pub. L. 105–291, §4, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2786.)

Codification

"Section 3713(a) of title 31" substituted in text for "section 3466 of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C. 191)" on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, §4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.

Amendments

1998Pub. L. 105–291 substituted "rightful subjects of legislation" for "subjects of legislation of local application" in first sentence.

1984Pub. L. 98–454 inserted provisions relating to authority of Secretary to guarantee for purchase by the Federal Financing Bank, obligations of the Guam Power Authority to be used for a second refinancing of the principal amount due to mature on December 31, 1990.

1980Pub. L. 96–205 substituted provisions relating to guarantees by the Secretary of the purchase by the Federal Financing Bank of the refinancing obligations of the Guam Power Authority where such refinancing obligations remain outstanding by Dec. 31, 1980, for provisions relating to payment of interest and default on maturity of guaranteed bonds or other obligations issued prior to Dec. 31, 1980.

1976Pub. L. 94–395 inserted provisions relating to authority of Secretary of the Interior to guarantee for purchase by the Federal Financing Bank bonds or other obligations of the Guam Power Authority maturing on or before Dec. 31, 1978.

§1423b. Selection and qualification of members; officers; rules and regulations; quorum

The legislature shall be the judge of the selection and qualification of its own members. It shall choose from its members its own officers, determine its rules and procedure, not inconsistent with this chapter, and keep a journal. The quorum of the legislature shall consist of a simple majority of its members. No bill shall become a law unless it shall have been passed at a meeting, at which a quorum was present, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting, which vote shall be by yeas and nays.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §12, 64 Stat. 388; Pub. L. 90–497, §6(b), Sept. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 846; Pub. L. 105–291, §3, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2785.)

Amendments

1998Pub. L. 105–291 substituted "a simple majority" for "eleven".

1968Pub. L. 90–497 inserted a quorum requirement, provided that a quorum of the legislature consist of eleven of its members, and made presence of a quorum requisite to passage of a law.

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–497, §6(b), Sept. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 846, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective on date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–497, which was approved Sept. 11, 1968.

§1423c. Privileges of members

(a) The members of the legislature shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the legislature and in going to and returning from the same.

(b) No member of the legislature shall be held to answer before any tribunal other than the legislature itself for any speech or debate in the legislature.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §13, 64 Stat. 388.)

§1423d. Oath of office

Every member of the legislature and all officers of the government of Guam shall take the following oath or affirmation:

"I solemnly swear (or affirm) in the presence of Almighty God that I will well and faithfully support the Constitution of the United States, the laws of the United States applicable to Guam and the laws of Guam, and that I will conscientiously and impartially discharge my duties as a member of the Guam Legislature (or as an officer of the government of Guam)."

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §14, 64 Stat. 388.)

§1423e. Prohibition against acceptance of salary increases or newly created offices

No member of the legislature shall, during the term for which he was elected or during the year following the expiration of such term, be appointed to any office which has been created, or the salary or emoluments of which have been increased during such term.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §15, 64 Stat. 388.)

§1423f. Qualifications of members

No person shall sit in the legislature who is not a citizen of the United States, who has not attained the age of twenty-five years and who has not been domiciled in Guam for at least five years immediately preceding the sitting of the legislature in which he seeks to qualify as a member, or who has been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude and has not received a pardon restoring his civil rights.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §16, 64 Stat. 388.)

§1423g. Vacancies

Vacancies occurring in the legislature shall be filled as the legislature shall provide, except that no person filling a vacancy shall hold office longer than for the remainder of the term for which his predecessor was elected.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §17, 64 Stat. 388.)

§1423h. Regular and special sessions

Regular sessions of the legislature shall be held annually, commencing on the second Monday in January (unless the legislature shall by law fix a different date), and shall continue for such term as the legislature may provide. The Governor may call special sessions of the legislature at any time when, in his opinion, the public interest may require it. No legislation shall be considered at any special session other than that specified in the call therefor or in any special message by the Governor to the legislature while in such session. All sessions of the legislature shall be open to the public.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §18, 64 Stat. 388; Pub. L. 90–497, §6(a), Sept. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 846.)

Amendments

1968Pub. L. 90–497 removed 60-day limitation on the length of regular sessions and 14-day limitation on the length of special sessions of the legislature.

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–497, §6(a), Sept. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 846, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective on date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–497, which was approved Sept. 11, 1968.

§1423i. Approval of bills

Every bill passed by the legislature shall, before it becomes a law, be entered upon the journal and presented to the Governor. If he approves it, he shall sign it, but if not he shall, except as hereinafter provided, return it, with his objections, to the legislature within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him. If he does not return it within such period, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by adjournment prevents its return, in which case it shall be a law if signed by the Governor within thirty days after it shall have been presented to him; otherwise it shall not be a law. When a bill is returned by the Governor to the legislature with his objections, the legislature shall enter his objections at large on its journal and, upon motion of a member of the legislature, proceed to reconsider the bill. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the members of the legislature pass the bill, it shall be a law. If any bill presented to the Governor contains several items of appropriation of money, he may object to one or more of such items, or any part or parts, portion or portions thereof, while approving the other items, parts, or portions of the bill. In such a case he shall append to the bill at the time of signing it, a statement of the items, or parts or portions thereof, to which he objects, and the items, or parts or portions thereof, so objected to shall not take effect. All laws enacted by the legislature shall be reported by the Governor to the head of the department or agency designated by the President under section 1421a of this title. The Congress of the United States reserves the power and authority to annul the same.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §19, 64 Stat. 389; Pub. L. 90–497, §8, Sept. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 847; Pub. L. 93–608, §1(14), Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1969.)

Amendments

1975Pub. L. 93–608 struck out requirement that reports be transmitted to Congress by the Secretary concerned.

1968Pub. L. 90–497, §8(a), struck out President's authority to veto territorial legislation referred by the Governor after such legislation had been passed by the legislature over the Governor's veto.

Pub. L. 90–497, §8(b), struck out provision that, if Congress did not annul laws passed by the legislature and reported to Congress within one year of the date of its receipt by Congress, such laws were deemed to have been approved by Congress.

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–497, §8(b), Sept. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 847, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective on the date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–497, which was approved Sept. 11, 1968.

Amendment by Pub. L. 90–497 necessary to authorize the holding of an election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor on Nov. 3, 1970, effective Jan. 1, 1970, and all other amendments unless otherwise provided effective Jan. 4, 1971, see section 13 of Pub. L. 90–497, set out as a note under section 1422 of this title.

§1423j. Authorization of appropriations

(a) Appropriations, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, and except such appropriations as shall be made from time to time by the Congress of the United States, shall be made by the legislature.

(b) If at the termination of any fiscal year the legislature shall have failed to pass appropriation bills providing for payments of the necessary current expenses of the government and meeting its legal obligations for the ensuing fiscal year, then the several sums appropriated in the last appropriation bills for the objects and purposes therein specified, so far as the same may be applicable, shall be deemed to be reappropriated, item by item.

(c) All appropriations made prior to August 1, 1950 shall be available to the government of Guam.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §20, 64 Stat. 389.)

§1423k. Right of petition

The legislature or any person or group of persons in Guam shall have the unrestricted right of petition. It shall be the duty of all officers of the government to receive and without delay to act upon or forward, as the case may require, any such petition.

(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, §21, 64 Stat. 389.)

§1423l. Omitted

Codification

Section, act Oct. 5, 1992, Pub. L. 102–381, title I, 106 Stat. 1392, which authorized Territorial and local governments of Guam to make purchases through General Services Administration, was from the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993, and was not repeated in subsequent appropriation acts. See section 1469e of this title. Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation acts:

Nov. 13, 1991, Pub. L. 102–154, title I, 105 Stat. 1007.

Nov. 5, 1990, Pub. L. 101–512, title I, 104 Stat. 1932.

Oct. 23, 1989, Pub. L. 101–121, title I, 103 Stat. 716.

Sept. 27, 1988, Pub. L. 100–446, title I, 102 Stat. 1797.

Dec. 22, 1987, Pub. L. 100–202, §101(g) [title I], 101 Stat. 1329–213, 1329-231.

Oct. 18, 1986, Pub. L. 99–500, §101(h) [title I], 100 Stat. 1783–242, 1783-258, and Oct. 30, 1986, Pub. L. 99–591, §101(h) [title I], 100 Stat. 3341–242, 3341-258.

Dec. 19, 1985, Pub. L. 99–190, §101(d) [title I], 99 Stat. 1224, 1238.

Oct. 12, 1984, Pub. L. 98–473, title I, §101(c) [title I], 98 Stat. 1837, 1851.

Nov. 4, 1983, Pub. L. 98–146, title I, 97 Stat. 931.

Dec. 30, 1982, Pub. L. 97–394, title I, 96 Stat. 1979.

Dec. 23, 1981, Pub. L. 97–100, title I, 95 Stat. 1401.

Dec. 12, 1980, Pub. L. 96–514, title I, 94 Stat. 2969.

Nov. 27, 1979, Pub. L. 96–126, title I, 93 Stat. 965.

Oct. 17, 1978, Pub. L. 95–465, title I, 92 Stat. 1289.

July 26, 1977, Pub. L. 95–74, title I, 91 Stat. 295.

July 31, 1976, Pub. L. 94–373, title I, 90 Stat. 1052.

Dec. 23, 1975, Pub. L. 94–165, title I, 89 Stat. 987.

Aug. 31, 1974, Pub. L. 93–404, title I, 88 Stat. 812.

Oct. 4, 1973, Pub. L. 93–120, title I, 87 Stat. 433.

Aug. 10, 1972, Pub. L. 92–369, title I, 86 Stat. 512.

Aug. 10, 1971, Pub. L. 92–76, title I, 85 Stat. 233.

July 31, 1970, Pub. L. 91–361, title I, 84 Stat. 673.

Oct. 29, 1969, Pub. L. 91–98, title I, 83 Stat. 151.

July 26, 1968, Pub. L. 90–425, title I, 82 Stat. 430.

June 24, 1967, Pub. L. 90–28, title I, 81 Stat. 63.

May 31, 1966, Pub. L. 89–435, title I, 80 Stat. 174.

June 28, 1965, Pub. L. 89–52, title I, 79 Stat. 179.

July 7, 1964, Pub. L. 88–356, title I, 78 Stat. 278.

July 26, 1963, Pub. L. 88–79, title I, 77 Stat. 102.

Aug. 9, 1962, Pub. L. 87–578, title I, 76 Stat. 339.

Aug. 3, 1961, Pub. L. 87–122, title I, 75 Stat. 250.

May 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–455, title I, 74 Stat. 112.

June 23, 1959, Pub. L. 86–60, title I, 73 Stat. 101.

June 4, 1958, Pub. L. 85–439, title I, 72 Stat. 163.

July 1, 1957, Pub. L. 85–77, title I, 71 Stat. 265.

June 13, 1956, ch. 380, title I, 70 Stat. 264.

June 16, 1955, ch. 147, title I, 69 Stat. 149.

July 1, 1954, ch. 446, title I, 68 Stat. 372.

July 31, 1953, ch. 298, title I, 67 Stat. 273.

July 9, 1952, ch. 597, title I, 66 Stat. 457.

Aug. 31, 1951, ch. 375, title I, 65 Stat. 263.

Sept. 6, 1950, ch. 896, Ch. VII, title I, 64 Stat. 694.