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Month: February 2019

Oversight Board appeals First Circuit ruling to US Supreme Court

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico today announced that it will ask the United States Supreme Court to review the February 15, 2019 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which held that members of the Oversight Board are federal officers who have to be appointed pursuant to the Appointments Clause of the US Constitution. The Oversight Board will also ask for a stay of the First Circuit’s mandate, pending the US Supreme Court consideration of the Oversight Board’s petition for a writ of certiorari. The Oversight Board has been given the...

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US Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources holds hearing on state of US territories

On February 26, 2019, a full committee hearing of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources was held to examine the current state of the US territories. The Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources committee Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska and ranking member Senator Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia gave the opening remarks. The governors of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam attended the hearing, with the governor of American Samoa submitting written testimony. “I think it’s fair to say that Congress doesn’t always acknowledge the contributions that...

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What the Puerto Rico debt restructuring deal means for debtors

On February 4, 2019, a major debt restructuring plan for Puerto Rico was approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. It was the first such deal in Puerto Rico since the territory’s government declared that it could not pay its public debt nearly four years ago. This restructuring plan required Puerto Rico to pay $32 billion over 40 years. Although it looks like this requirement will put a high degree of economic pressure on the Puerto Rican government, officials said this restructuring deal will be a great move for the recovery of Puerto Rico’s economy because the territory would save...

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American Samoa placed in European Union’s tax havens list

The European Union adopted a new list of 12 countries and 11 jurisdictions, including American Samoa, to reduce the scope of money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to increase their efforts in due diligence when dealing with customers and financial institutions from the listed countries and jurisdictions. American Samoa was already included in a separate EU blacklist of tax havens. The list has been adopted by the Commission in the way of Delegated Regulation and will be submitted to The European Parliament and Council for approval...

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Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón urges those affected by Hurricane María to benefit from SBA grants

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP,R) of Puerto Rico encourages those affected by Hurricane María who have not requested assistance yet from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to do so, as the agency continues accepting late applications under certain requirements. Individuals can apply for assistance by calling the SBA offices in Puerto Rico or the FEMA Community Resource Center that is still open all around the islands. The deadline for filing claims to SBA was June 18, 2018; however, the agency explained that it will continue accepting late claims, “resulting from essential important causes beyond the control of the applicant”....

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