Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Governor will visit NPP lawmakers at Capitol monthly, speaker says

By on August 20, 2019

Gov. Wanda Vázquez and House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez (CyberNews)

Legislative leaders applaud decision, new appointments

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez said Monday that Gov. Wanda Vázquez is committed to participating, at least once a month, in the New Progressive Party (NPP) majority Senate and House caucus meetings. 

“All of the representatives applauded that for first the time a governor comes voluntarily to the delegation’s caucus, not to a summoned legislative conference, but rather it came ‘motu propio’ from her to assist,” Méndez told reporters after meeting with the governor for about two hours in his office at the Capitol. “There is a commitment that, once a month, she will be assisting one of delegation’s caucus to discuss administration issues….”

Méndez noted that one of the priorities touched on during the meeting were economic development projects, the creation of jobs, visits to Washington, D.C., the funds assigned to municipalities and the Financial Oversight and Management Board’s stance. When asked specifically about the visits to Washington, Méndez said they aim to reopen the channels of communication with President Trump.

“Public policy is established by the government not the [fiscal oversight] board. Her [Vázquez’s] position is the same as ours,” Méndez said. 

The speaker added that the governor welcomed the recommendations of leaving without effect the reorganization of the Department of Transportation and Public Works and that of the Labor Department. 

Regarding the governor’s appointing of Luis Pérez as the executive director of the Government Ethics Office, Méndez said it was a good choice and that it will be evaluated by the legislative chambers. Vázquez also appointed Dennise Longo as Justice Secretary.

During the inauguration Monday morning of a library at the Montessori School in the Luis Lloréns Torres public housing project, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, who invited Vázquez to attend, also said that Pérez was an excellent selection. However, he said he didn’t know Longo but noted that he has received excellent references about her.

“I don’t have the privilege of knowing her,” Rivera Schatz said. “I am coordinating a meeting with her in the next few days.”

The governor also met with the Senate caucus Monday afternoon.

—CyberNews contributed to this report.