Puerto Rico Legislature to focus on police retirement, taxes, and recovery
On January 8, President of the Puerto Rican Senate Thomas Rivera Schatz made an announcement calling for the Upper House to focus their efforts on the Police Retirement System, Tax Reform, and continued post-hurricane reconstruction. Schatz called for legislation to approve the Senate office in Washington, DC in order to increase communication between the territory and the federal capital regarding Puerto Rico’s legislative concerns. Accordingly, the Senate will be in Washington to work on initiatives to benefit the islands.
Throughout the month of January, the legislature has continued to address efforts to mitigate post-Maria and Irma damage to the islands. On January 26, The Commission of Transportation and Infrastructure introduced Measure C1380. The resolution would amend Article 3.009 of Law 81 (1991) to authorize municipal mayors to carry out any procedures necessary to fix their cities’ electrical systems and water treatment systems after damage done by the hurricanes. The resolution would guarantee that corporations and organizations responsible for addressing the post-hurricane damage will comply with the accepted industry guidelines. The resolution also notes that if, and when, a municipality declares a state of emergency– based on poor conditions of water and electric sources– they must supplement this by notifying the Electric Power Authority of the issue within the jurisdiction. By introducing Measure C1380, the territory’s Commission of Transportation and Infrastructure will ideally have a better program to deal with individual municipality concerns resulting from the hurricanes.
On Monday, January 22, The Commission of Health and the Commission of Government jointly introduced Measure C0018, to order the Legislature to conduct an investigation on the health and safety issues involved in the Health Department’s acquisition of a helicopter. The purpose of the investigation is to ensure that the Department is complying with proper health and maintenance parameters and follows transportation guidelines.