Governor Ready to Sign First PPP Law on Wednesday
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares hopes to be able to sign Wednesday his first bill to amend Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to allow the private sector to approach the government and proactively propose solutions to the island’s problems through this model, which has companies pay for the development study—and at the same time directs about 25% of the profits to the public employee retirement systems.
During a press conference, La Fortaleza Public Affairs Secretary Ramón Rosario said Tuesday that Senate Bill 2 (PPPs) was approved Monday night and he expects that the House of Representatives will review it Tuesday or Wednesday and then it will be sent to Rosselló Nevares to sign.
“This is historical in nature. As soon as tomorrow, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló could sign his first law, thereby complying with his Plan for Puerto Rico program. So you have a [better] idea, it wasn’t until mid-February that [former] Gov. Alejandro García Padilla signed his first legislation. Senate Bill 2 was reviewed yesterday and approved last night with amendments from independent Sen. [José] Vargas Vidot to make the bill more comprehensive, which is to allow PPPs to get public hearings to evaluate them,” Rosario said.
SB 2 states that entrepreneurs who wish to propose a PPP to the government of Puerto Rico can pay with their own money the development study required to create a PPP.
“The process is being rendered more flexible so that PPPs that were not created in the past four years can be created now. We have to think outside the box. Unsolicited proposals allow private sectors and credit unions to submit proposals containing their vision on how to solve a problem, so it’s not only what the government of Puerto Rico thinks, it’s what the people and the private sector think in terms of how to help the government,” he said.
In the opinion of the public affairs secretary, the fact that the bill was approved in the Senate without a public hearing process was an act of efficiency because government agencies issued written opinions in advance stating their position on the filed bill.
“In this process, it was all about efficiency. Government agencies, which are the ones that participate in public hearings, expressed their views with written opinions on the same day the bill was submitted. In other words, we worked beforehand and had a complete file, and there was a debate that lasted about two hours through which the measure became more comprehensive with the amendment made by Sen. Vargas Vidot,” he said.
Rosario reiterated that with this bill, 25% of the profit generated by the government of Puerto Rico with the new PPPs would be directed at injecting cash into the public pension systems.