Category: Status Report

Status Update (H.R. 2000)

H.R. 2000 On May 15, 2013 the 113th Congress Proposed a Bill called H.R. 2000 in reponse to the Plebiscite status vote of November 6th of last year. This Bill is to set forth the process for Puerto Rico to be admitted as a state of the Union. Puerto Rico Statehood Vote November...

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Puerto Rico Status History (PDF’S)

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has a unique history as a part of the United States. United States suzerainty over Puerto Rico originated with the acquisition of the islands in 1898 after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. For decades, the federal government administered government operations in Puerto Rico through military liaisons or civilian officials appointed by the President. Legislation enacted by Congress in 1950 (P.L. 81-600) and in 1952 (P.L. 82-447) granted Puerto Rico authority to establish a republican form of local government through a constitution approved by the citizens of Puerto Rico and the Congress in 1952...

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Is Puerto Rico the next Detroit?

by Julio Saenz • August 29, 2013 • 9:25 am This week’s issue of Barron’s financial newspaper has Puerto Rico as its cover story.  The in-depth story compares Puerto Rico’s precarious financial situation to Detroit’s recent bankruptcy and warns it could be 10 times worse if the island’s government does the same. Some of the key numbers reported in the article are that only California and New York State have more total debt than Puerto Rico.  Obviously those states are much larger so Puerto Rico’s average debt per resident  “of $14,000 is 10 times the average of the 50 states.”  It adds up to $70 billion in debt and that is not including $30 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The prospects for getting out from under the debt are bleak, the island’s economy has been stuck in a recession since 2006 and unemployment is over 13%. The good news that there are  major differences between Puerto Rico and Detroit. As the author Andrew Bary explains: “Puerto Rico has taken painful and politically unpopular steps to cut bloated government payrolls, raise taxes, and shore up its badly underfunded pension system. A new government elected in 2012, led by the populist Governor Alejandro García Padilla, is committed to putting Puerto Rico and its various bond-issuing authorities on a stronger financial footing. “ Those cuts, that have led to the strikes by government...

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Puerto Rico Statehood Vote UPDATE

Puerto Rico referendum historic, but complex: 809,000 vote for statehood, only 73,000 for independence, and 441,000 for sovereign free association Elections in Puerto Rico are always more complicated than they seem. The referendum on the island’s future was, in fact, a two-part vote that actually revealed that most want an end to the status quo, but not necessarily statehood. The country was focused on the vote for President last week, but 4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico held their own historic vote. That vote drew scant attention stateside, and the few initial press accounts here got the story...

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Puerto Rico Voters Signal Desire for Statehood

61 percent said they would pick U.S. statehood if continuing as a self-governing commonwealth were off the table, even as they ousted pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuno. By Reuters | Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 5:45 PM | Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 7:19 PM SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Ricans showed support in a non-binding referendum to change the island’s status as a U.S. territory, preferring to become the 51st U.S. state even as they ousted their pro-statehood governor from office, according to official results on Wednesday.  Puerto Ricans faced two questions in a status vote on Tuesday,...

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