Call your lawmakers today!


Monday, July 7, at 11:10am, over 4,200 signatures were submitted to the AG’s office in favor for a referendum for Public Laws 18-30, 18-38, and 18-43. All signatures were collected in an effort to put these laws on the ballot in November for all CNMI voters to decide. All signatures were collected so the people could have a voice in the laws that affect them.

All three laws in these referendums deal with gaming in the CNMI, be it electronic or casino.

All three laws were passed by our Legislature without the consent of the people. There were no public hearings for public comments. These laws were passed quickly and without the transparency required by the Open Government Act—the same Act that over 9,000 voters voted loud and clear for in the last election.

All three laws affect every person on these beautiful islands. The democratic process provides the people with a voice on issues that affect the populace. This referendum process is that voice.

Today, July 8, 2014, at 1:30pm, there is a House session that could change the course of the people’s voice. Today the house could vote to repeal and reenact the casino gaming law in House Bill 18-95.

If they do this, they will in effect silence the people of the CNMI.

By repealing and reenacting this casino law, the lawmakers will rob the people of the referendum process and their constitutional right to vote on this issue. If they repeal and reenact this casino law, they will nullify the referendum process, because July 7 was the final day to submit a referendum for this November. There is no time to go and get signatures to put 18-95 on the ballot in November because the deadline is passed.

I ask all voters to contact their legislators this morning to vote “no” to 18-95. If they are successful at repealing and reenacting the casino law today, we will not get to vote in November.

We must protect the referendum process, or our lawmakers can and will thwart the will of the people anytime they see fit. This is not democracy.

Leila Staffler
Kagman III, Saipan

Leila Staffler Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.