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Legislature schedules public hearings on Puerto Rico gov’t reorganization plans

By on February 1, 2018

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos Méndez announced Thursday the itinerary for public hearings to evaluate bills that would make it possible to implement the executive branch’s reorganization plans in accordance with the New Government Act.

“As we expressed in the past days, this House of Representatives will provide a forum for those who wish to express themselves on each of the Reorganization Plans submitted by La Fortaleza for our evaluation. Therefore, we decided to open a public hearing process related to the bills that would make implementation of the plans feasible. We will listen to agencies and members of organizations. The entire process will be open to the public,” Méndez said in a written statement.

House Speaker Carlos Méndez addresses the 2nd Promesa Conference at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. (Courtesy photo)

“We understand the need that exists to improve the services the government offers to the citizens, particularly to make the process more direct. But we have to balance that with the new realities that [hurricanes] Irma and Maria left us. This process, which we will begin next week, is part of the evaluation of these reorganization plans. We will also hold meetings and speak with each representative to listen to their concerns and suggestions. As I’ve always said, we will have a transparent and inclusive process,” he added.

The Special Committee for the Restructuring & Reorganization of Puerto Rico after the September hurricanes, chaired by Méndez, will be in charge of studying the legislative bills.

The evaluation process begins Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Severo Colberg Ramírez Hearing Room with a public hearing related to House Bill 1408, which would create the “Execution of the Reorganization Plan of the Public Service Regulatory Board of Puerto Rico Act.”

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Among those testifying at the hearing are the Telecommunications Regulatory Board, Public Service Commission and Energy Commission.

On Feb. 7, the House begins work on studying HB 1403, which seeks to establish the “Execution of the Reorganization Plan of the Department of Economic Development & Commerce [DDEC by its Spanish acronym] of 2018 Act.” Among those cited to testify are representatives of the Planning Board, State Public Policy Office, DDEC, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co., Former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station Development Authority, and the Office of Industrial Tax Exemption.

Moreover, a hearing will be held Feb. 9 on HB 1407, which would create the Board of Education Reorganization Plan of 2018. Cited for this public hearing are the Education Department, Higher Education Board, Private Colleges & Universities Association, University Technical Network and the Private Education Association.


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