Ricardo Rosselló Sworn in As Governor
SAN JUAN—In a closed ceremony that reportedly took place in the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, Ricardo Rosselló Nevares was sworn in just after midnight Tuesday to become Puerto Rico’s twelfth governor, after which he signed several executive orders and submitted bills on which he will give a priority under the new government term, which ends in 2020.
The president of the incoming government transition committee, Juan Merecio Machuca, said in a radio interview (Noti Uno) said that the brief ceremony was carried out by Puerto Rican Supreme Court Chief Justice Maité Oronoz. The public ceremony is slated to start at 10:00 a.m. Tieasday on the Capitol’s north wing in San Juan.
At 6:30 a.m., Rosselló Nevares participated in a religious service in the Santa Bernardita, Country Club Parish, where he also had a breakfast with his close relatives and the church’s parish, Father Wilfredo Peña, his press office reported.
Among the executive orders that Rosselló Nevares signed—and will soon become available online for the public—is a directive for agency heads to evaluate women’s wages and correct existing disparities. This goes hand-in-hand with the campaign promise of “equal pay for equal employment” campaign, confirmed Ramón Rosario, Secretary of Public Affairs at La Fortaleza.
Rosario added that another executive order intends to create the Federal Opportunity Center, a new office attached to the Governor’s Office that aims to increase the amount of federal funding allocations to the island up to an additional $1 billion.
Also, an executive order on the fiscal crisis was signed with the purpose of ordering a 10% reduction in the commonwealth’s budget and a 20% reduction in politically appointed employees. Another signed order seeks to create an expedited process for the granting of infrastructure permits.
The new governor also submitted a bill to establish a process in which women who are discriminated in terms of salary, either in the public or private sector, can initiate an administrative or judicial process to achieve equal pay for equal work. Penalties under the proposed bill would be double of what they currently are, Rosario added.
Rosselló Nevares arrives at La Fortaleza 24 years after his father Pedro Rosselló, Puerto Rico’s seventh governor, took his oath. After the public event at the Capitol, the new governor will carry out a rally with the people present to La Fortaleza.