Gov Rossello promotes fiscal responsibility and statehood in Heritage Foundation speech
In clear efforts to win over conservative support for the statehood cause, governor Ricardo Rosselló gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation outlining his vision of fiscal responsibility.
“I challenge anyone to find a more aggressive agenda anywhere in the country,” he said.
In remarks that highlighted his administration’s emphasis on government accountability and fiscal responsibility, the Governor highlighted his early accomplishments and emphasized his top four areas for structural reform: (1) labor, (2) business permitting, (3) tax, and energy. He reported on his success in enacting new laws to implement changes in labor and permitting policy and spoke about his goals for tax and energy reform. With respect to tax, Gov. Rossello explained that his goal is to wide the base and decrease rates. He added that his administration had already collected $60 million more than last year. In terms of energy improvements, he declared that the era of an energy monopoly with high rates and low reliability was over.
Gov. Rossello reported that he had also amended the island’s public-private-partnership (P3) law to make is “slimmer and more effective.” He added to audience applause that “if a service is given, you should really question if the government should be giving it.”
He said that he inherited a government with 131 agencies that was borrowing uncontrollably, including inter-governmental borrowing, a situation he labeled as unsustainable. He noted several times that he planned to vastly decrease the number of government agencies. He will also seek to promote tourism and solidify Puerto Rico’s brand as a top tourist destination.
“We have to change the narrative in Puerto Rico,” he stated. Whereas in the past Puerto Rico had spent its resources until government officials came to Washington for additional money, he promised controls, solid plans and no bailouts.
Despite these efforts, don’t hold your breath on any sudden Republican support for changing Puerto Rico’s status.