15 Mar 2017

Guam senator calls for part-time legislature

7:58 am on 15 March 2017

A Guam senator wants the island's legislature to become a part-time one, in the hope that a wider cross section of society will be represented.

Guam flag

Photo: 123rf

Fernando Esteves is a first term senator working on drafting legislation to make the change.

Mr Esteves said allowing senators to keep their jobs while serving the public would attract more people.

The Republican senator said a part-time legislature would also keep the focus on creating law and approving budgets.

Mr Esteves said it was time for Guam to get back to a citizen-driven model of government.

He said there had been a consistent influx of a select few who come into the legislature and stay for a long time.

"I've always discredited the notion that long time experience as a politician makes for better policy. I don't agree with that sentiment. I think that the very idea [of] the legislative branch of government, a citizen legislature, is that we pull from the concerns, experiences, knowledge and ideas of the whole community."