Congresswoman promotes investment opportunities, equality for Puerto Rico while in Florida
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón promoted economic development, investment opportunities and equality for the island to two organizations in Florida.
González Colón was invited to discuss the situation of Puerto Rico by the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, the first Puerto Rican to address the group. During her speech, she highlighted her work as the first woman to represent Puerto Rico in Congress, and took the opportunity to promote the economic development of the island and advocate for its admission as a state.
The congresswoman provided an update of the impact and effects of Hurricane Maria on the island as well as its recovery progress. She gave an overview of the island’s situation, in terms of population and its economy, as well as federally approved legislation that benefits the island, such as the more than $48 billion allocated for disaster recovery and other programs.
On the other hand, González emphasized the territorial status of Puerto Rico and the limitations that this represents: “Only with statehood can we have a clear path towards full equality for the 3.2 million American citizens living in the island.”
She told the audience that Puerto Ricans voted in favor of statehood for the island twice and spoke about the bipartisan support of her “Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2018.”
Path to statehood bill
In the coming weeks, her office said in a release, the congresswoman will be introducing a new bill to establish “a straightforward path to admit Puerto Rico as a State once the Island’s American citizens reaffirm the territory’s choice of statehood through a plebiscite sponsored by the federal government under Public Law 113-76.”
Gonzalez-Colón also participated in a roundtable with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando to discuss economic development and investment initiatives as well.
The congresswoman highlighted the inclusion of Puerto Rico in the Opportunity Zones program, which “means that Puerto Rico is not subject to the 25% cap in the number of the census tract areas that may be nominated as O Zones within mainland jurisdictions and the qualifying zones under the program,” her office’s release reads.
At the roundtable, the lawmaker also noted the “achievement of the extension” of the Rum Cover-Over, or the transfer of the liquor’s U.S. excise tax to the treasuries of manufacturing jurisdictions, which “represents a $900 million injection for Puerto Rico and the [U.S.] Virgin Islands,” her office added.