Governor calls Puerto Rico fiscal board questioning of essential services ‘contradictory’
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Monday that the fiscal control board is contradicting itself by asking the government to define what it considers “essential services” when the panel has already evaluated and certified the budget and fiscal plan.
In both documents, the government insists on the need to protect “essential services,” so the board should have asked for an explanation during that process, the governor said in a press conference after participating in a ceremony recognizing the “Teacher of Year” in a hotel in Río Grande.
“They certified a fiscal plan and have certified a budget. They had the sole power to approve or not approve both the fiscal plan and the budget…. On two occasions the fiscal oversight board has had the opportunity of what it says in the letter or what the bill says…discretion to reject any of these two processes. It didn’t do so in either case,” the governor said.
Rosselló said he was “surprised” that “essential services” were demanded to be defined, since the board’s advisers meet “practically every day” with the government’s fiscal team.
“To some extent, the letter sent by the fiscal oversight board is contradictory and we would certainly like to know what they are referring to in those components,” said the governor, who hopes to reply to the letter soon.
In its letter, the board also criticized the Rosselló administration’s “public discourse” saying it does not emphasize the precariousness of the island’s economic situation.