Private Sector Hopeful that Fiscal Board Bill Will Be Amended
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s Private Sector Coalition is hopeful there is an opportunity to amend the legislation discussed in the U.S. Congress proposing a federal financial oversight board for the island.
The coalition said that drafts of the potential fiscal board have caused frustration among members of the delegation because they feel key elements were left out of the bill and that contains “poisonous” provisions.
Coalition leaders have been meeting with members of Congress and staffers for more than 10 months to promote economic development initiatives for Puerto Rico, emphasizing that the island be allowed to participate in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, have parity in Medicaid funding and that its matching rate funding cap be eliminated or significantly raised.
The private sector agreed to be part of the island’s delegation this week to lobby members of Congress following a consensus achieved with the public sector on four key points.
These are that economic development measures be incorporated into the bill, that it include broad debt restructuring, a stay on litigation and that the powers of the board be more supervisory in nature, providing technical advice and not control, which the coalition believes would “usurp the powers of the elected members in the Legislature and executive [branch] of Puerto Rico.”