Governor assures deadline to introduce board recommendations to Puerto Rico fiscal plans will be met
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Tuesday that he is confident his team will be able to carry out the revisions of the fiscal plans for the commonwealth, the Electric Power Authority (Prepa) and of Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA) by Feb. 12, as required by the island’s fiscal oversight board in letters sent Monday.
“It happened exactly the same as the last time we submitted a fiscal plan,” the governor said in reference to the plan that was certified by the fiscal panel in March.
“I remind you that last time, they did the same thing [request revisions] and our plan was certified. We have had conversations that I understand have been very productive. Certainly there are differences in some areas,” Rosselló replied to questions from the press.
The plan the governor referred to included the controversial reduction of public employee work hours, instead of dismissals. At the time, fiscal board Chairman José Carrión assured that if the measure were not part of the the plan, it would not be certified.
“I am fully confident we will be able to achieve a fiscal plan; certainly, in evolution as happen with the previous fiscal plan […],” Rosselló said, adding that the document “will be ready” by the seven-day period established by the board.
The government presented the revised fiscal plan on Jan. 24, taking into account the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. That plan modified the previous 10-year plan that had been certified.
Among the findings of the fiscal board is that the central government’s newly revised fiscal plan must include making an emergency reserve of $1.3 billion viable, as well as to reduce pensions. Among other things, the government must also commit to implement specific measures that facilitate doing business on the island as well as to implement more aggressive labor reforms that reduce the cost of hiring employees.