|11th Guam Legislature (1970-1972)|
Many people are not aware that the Guam Legislature, created in 1950 by the Organic Act, underwent some important changes in 1968.
These changes enacted in 1968 were to take effect in the next round of elections in 1970. That year, the 11th Guam Legislature was elected.
The changes included :
1. Giving a title for the members of the Legislature. In the original Organic Act (1950), no title was given. Now they would be called "senators."
2. Lifting the limitation how often the Guam Legislature could meet. In the original Organic Act, the Legislature could meet for only 60 days in a year (not including emergency, special sessions). This was usually broken down into two, 30-day sessions. This meant that the lawmakers did not meet year-round; it was a part-time legislature. Members had full-time jobs as lawyers, businessmen and what have you. Salaries were low. Staff was small and shared among all 21 members.
With the 1968 changes to go into effect in 1970, the Legislature could meet as often as it desired. This encouraged many senators to become full-time lawmakers with higher salaries. Each senator was given the power to hire staff and a budget to fund that. This is what we mean by a "modern" Legislature.
THE DEMOCRATIC RIFT IN 1970
The Democratic Party, the dominant party on Guam, divided along three lines.
The Governor Guerrero Camp
Jose Ramirez Dueñas
William (Bilmar) Flores
The Ricky Bordallo Camp
Adrian (Nito) Cristobal
The Joaquin Arriola Camp
The Republican Minority
The six Republicans were :
Concepcion (Chong) Barrett
Tomas Tanaka, Sr
Pedro Perez, Sr
Tomas Ramirez Santos