NPP confident in Congressional approval of status referendum
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s administration is confident that the U.S. Justice Department will endorse the June 11 political-status referendum.
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González said she held a productive meeting Monday with Justice officials, who assured they will send the governor a revised evaluation of the amendments made to the law that established the vote, the Immediate Decolonization Act.
González said that although the amendment-revision process may take several weeks, the federal government will end up backing the status referendum. However, she acknowledged the possibility that the vote be postponed until it receives congressional approval.
“They are waiting to receive documents related to the plebiscite that haven’t been delivered yet,” González said after speaking over the phone with acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and other officials from that agency.
The U.S. Justice Department had rejected the decolonization act as presented because it didn’t comply with federal law or U.S. public policy.
The New Progressive Party (NPP) administration seeks approval from the Justice Department in order to receive $2.5 million from Congress to educate the public about the referendum.
To the extent that this decision is delayed and receives congressional approval, it is less likely that the referendum can be carried out on the established date, June 11.
The federal allocation of $2.5 million is conditional upon the federal government determining that the electoral ballot, the education campaign of the State Elections Commission and materials related to the referendum comply with constitutional, legal and public policy requirements.