Gov sends new lower-toll-fine bill to Puerto Rico legislature
SAN JUAN – After saying Sunday that the bill to reduce AutoExpreso-toll fines from $50 to $15 continued to be evaluated, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced late Monday that he sent a bill to the Legislative Assembly to reduce the fines and that it could be passed in the next ordinary session, which begins Aug. 20.
The measure would also prevent the issuance of a fine for driving through a toll with insufficient funds to drivers whose AutoExpreso sticker is registered and pay the toll within five days.
Transportation Carlos Contreras Secretary said that “we agree with the intention of the Legislative Assembly to reduce the amount of the fines of Auto Expreso to $15 and therefore we will be supporting the measure presented for those purposes. However, the approved measure had a provision so that it would not be possible to impose a fine on registered drivers who passed without a balance through our tolls,” and “after a financial analysis of this provision, we have concluded it would have an unmanageable impact on the finances of the public corporation and on our ability to pay for our services and the salary of our public employees.”
“Our goal is to identify how we can achieve the goal that everyone is waiting for–that the fines be reduced while avoiding a scenario in which it could be annulled by the fiscal board due to some of the fiscal considerations contained in the bill and that would not affect that reduction of fines,” the governor replied Sunday to questions from the press.
Rosselló explained that there was no objection to the measure’s purpose of lower the amount of the fine but that the problem has to do with the approved language, which he said had an impact on several aspects of the fiscal plan.
“There are three considerations that are being analyzed. It wouldn’t be worth introducing a bill that’s going to be annulled if I can reach the same goal, which is the reduction of the fine with a new bill,” he had said Sunday.