Resident Commissioner supports reducing Puerto Rico fiscal board’s budget
SAN JUAN – Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González said Friday that she is not in favor of holding all funding for Puerto Rico’s fiscal management board but does reducing its budget.
“That would be a humble recommendation I’m making, because that’s a power the governor and the Legislative Assembly have. It’s not a power I have,” the resident commissioner replied to questions from the media.
With regard to a resolution passed by the local Senate that would prohibit the Treasury secretary from disbursing funds to the fiscal panel created by the federal Promesa law, González warned about the implications the move may have in Congress.
“I believe that in the times Puerto Rico is living through, it’s one thing to condemn the demands of the board and another thing to begin a public spat about taking its money away, because Puerto Rico cannot afford, in my opinion, to get into a jam over federal resources. This is a time to sit down and evaluate. There are a lot of federal funds on the table,” she said.
The fiscal board requested an $80 million budget for fiscal year 2019. That represents an increase of $20 million compared with the amount it received during the current fiscal year, which ends in June.
Asked if she was going to discuss with the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee, Rob Bishop, his request to the board regarding Puerto Rico’s treatment, the resident commissioner said she expects to this week.
“I have an excellent friendship with the chairman of my committee and I will sit down to work with him as I have done in the past. In fact, he accepted my request to protect pensions in Puerto Rico. I know it will not be different in this case,” she said.
González was participating in an event organized by the Civil Engineers Institute of the Engineers & Land Surveyors Association.