San Juan mayor calls gov’s reaction to fiscal board lawsuit a tantrum
SAN JUAN – After it was revealed that Puerto Rico’s fiscal control board filed an injunction against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, demanding he furlough some 130,000 public workers, San Juan’s mayor assured that the board’s move was a “chronicle of a death foretold.”
Carmen Yulín Cruz said the governor’s reaction was nothing more than a “tantrum” that won’t have major consequences because the federal Promesa law indicates that its provisions prevail over any territorial or state law or regulation.
“The Government of Puerto Rico is exercising its right to throw a tantrum. The fiscal plan of the governor included the furlough, that fiscal plan that they celebrated in the Sunken Garden of La Fortaleza,” the mayor said. “In the country’s budget, which includes the investment in payroll, which others call payroll cost, the [two] workdays cut is included.”
“This is what has been said for years; furthermore, even before the signing of the Promesa law we said it was clear that once the fiscal oversight board was established, the board would be in charge and the governor administrates,” she added.
However, Cruz said that the governor is doing the right thing in challenging the board’s directives, but criticized that Rosselló himself suggested a furlough.
“The first thing he should have done was not suggest it. The first thing the governor should have done was not to ask for $450 million less for the UPR [University of Puerto Rico], nor the $350 million less for the municipalities. Nor the 60 fewer medicines for the people on the [government insurance] health card, nor the reduction of money, because there was a fundamental and main option: Don’t pay the debt until you audit it. Audit the debt to make a payment plan that doesn’t jeopardize the country’s well-being,” Cruz reiterated.
The mayor assured she sees no future in the efforts of the governor’s administration to create the Frente por Puerto Rico (Front for Puerto Rico), which brings together political, religious, labor union, business, civic and nonprofit sector representatives to advocate in the U.S. capital for Congress and the White House’s consideration of Puerto Rico regarding healthcare, tax reform and economic development issues.
“I have my doubts that that front will get anywhere. On the one hand, they destroy the country and on the other they [employ] pantomime that we want unity to take the country forward. You cannot ask for unity to reduce pensions by 10 percent. You can’t ask for unity to take money from the municipalities. The governor will throw a tantrum like never before, and he will give up as usual,” she said.