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Author: Stacey Gonzalez

Hurricane response continues to cause political storm in DC

Seven months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, the archipelago continues to struggle with the damages from the tropical storm and devastation of its electrical grid. According to the Rhodium group as of April 12, “more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans are still without power.” Furthermore, the Rhodium group has called this the second largest blackout in the world with 3.4 billion hours of electricity lost since Hurricane Maria reached the territory. In fact, within the past week, Puerto Rico has had two power outages the most recent of which left the entire territory without power.  This comes in the wake of fierce...

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US territories in the Pacific consider marijuana legislation

The sale of marijuana is legal in 29 US states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam- the latter two, only allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana. Although there are 9 states that have legalized recreational use of the substance under federal law, it has not been legalized. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with support from the Trump administration, overturned the Cole Memos that pushed for no interference from federal prosecution for marijuana violations in states with legal marijuana statutes. Democrats in the United States House of Representatives have introduced measures to protect states that have legalized...

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2019 Budget proposal could create budget shortfalls for Guam, US territories

The Trump administration unveiled the budget plan for fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019), which detailed budget cuts for the Office of Insular Affairs. The proposed budget reduces assistance to Guam and other US territories across several sectors such as immigration, technical assistance and wildlife preservation and safety control. The President’s budget proposal greatly reduces domestic programs, while the 2018 FY request directs funding into military expansion and training. In a press release Guam Territorial Delegate Madeleine Bordallo (D) expressed concerns regarding the budget proposal plan to reduce funding for the island and other US territories. She proclaimed in the press release, “I...

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Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 delivers disaster aid and tax credits to US territories

The second government shutdown of the year ended when President Trump signed off on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, early Friday morning. Although brief, the shutdown was stalled due to Senator Paul Rand of Kentucky’s (R) opposition to the bill’s proposed increase in government funding. The stopgap bill outlined budgeting for both military and domestic programs over two years, which allotted $165 billion and $131 billion, respectively. The budget bill increases government spending, and will allow for an increased deficit through 2019.   Included in the bill are almost $90 billion dollars in relief assistance for areas that...

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Territorial delegates respond to State of the Union

President Trump’s first State of the Union address received much criticism before it had even aired.  Most notably, Maxine Waters, Representative of California and Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Ginsburg had announced that they would not attend the speech along with other Democratic Representatives. As another political move by the Democratic Party, Representative Kirsten Gillibrand brought Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz to the 80-minute speech on Tuesday. Also, in attendance was Territorial Delegate of the US Virgin Islands Stacey Plaskett along with two survivors of Hurricane Maria. For his part President Trump referenced the two hurricane ravaged territories in his speech...

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