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Author: Sarah Haynes

Talks of Puerto Rico statehood are alive and well

Talks of Puerto Rico statehood are alive and well over a year following the devastation of the hurricanes of 2017. Congressional members Jenniffer González-Colón and former Natural resources Chairperson Rob Bishop were working together on a memorandum regarding the plebiscite vote and beginning the process of moving Puerto Rico into statehood. While still in the draft stages the report is said to consider the plebiscite authentic despite the opposition of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) to the vote and their claims of illegitimacy. Before the hurricanes, Governor Ricardo Rosselló had made steps to enact a “Tennessee Plan” to send...

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Oversight Board drafts and approves FY19 budgets

As of September 30, the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico has approved the fiscal year budget for 2019 for PREPA and other island utilities. Quoted as saying that a strong independent regulator is key “for injecting confidence, stability, and predictability into Puerto Rico’s energy market,” the Puerto Rican Energy Bureau (PREB) will be receiving $7.6 million in the upcoming budget appropriations. This budget also includes the resolution to improve the organizational structure for a better and stronger workflow. However, there are concerns with the rate change that came from the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA)...

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Puerto Rican Independence Party wants voters to decide the future of the Financial Oversight and Management Board

The governor of Puerto Rico has been mounting an effort to move Puerto Rico into becoming the newest state to join the union. While recently the votes have been swinging in favor of statehood, though not by much, there are people in Puerto Rico who are strong advocates for an independent Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) rounds out the political views on Puerto Rico’s stance in regards to the United States balancing the New Progressive Party (NPP), and Popular Democratic Party (PDP), who advocate for statehood and status quo respectively. While the PDP has been debating...

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Divisions emerge in Popular Democratic Party over how to address status, oversight board

The Popular Democratic Party in Puerto Rico is known for its rejection of statehood and independence. The PDP (Partido Popular Democratico in Spanish) usually firmly sits on the side of the status quo where Puerto Rico retains a sense of self-governance, but ultimately remains a part of the United States without full statehood, as an unincorporated territory. Many in this party, including the notable Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, retain the idea of a free association with the ability to retain American Citizenship. With Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s political ambitions aimed firmly at statehood, it seemed that the PDP was about...

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Puerto Rico Department of Education continues downsizing

It has been reported that 25% of the schools in Puerto Rico are set to close within the year. These 238 schools will be closing amid dropping rates of students as many families have been leaving the islands following Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. The Department of Education  has stated that the teachers are not being let go, but as the schools are being consolidated, the teachers and students are being reassigned to other schools. By the time that school starts in the fall of 2018, there will be less than 1000 schools open across Puerto Rico. Currently,...

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