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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