Gov. signs Supervisory Board bill, other fiscal measures

Written by  //  December 9, 2015  //  Government  //  No comments

Gov. García-Padilla said he signed the bills during a press conference prior to flying to Washington DC on Tuesday. He was flanked by several prominent Puerto Rico mayors.

Gov. García-Padilla signed the bills during a press conference prior to flying to Washington D.C. on Tuesday. Several prominent Puerto Rico mayors, including Hécor O’neill, from Guaynabo (center), took part in the meeting with the media.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla signed into law the first five measures related to the Plan for Fiscal and Economic Growth, including the measure creating the Fiscal Supervisory board, La Fortaleza confirmed Tuesday.

The measures signed were: House Bill 2717, authorizing a voluntary pre-retirement program among public sector employees; House Bill 2749, digitizing and updating the Puerto Rico Land Registry; House Bill 2400, to make Land Registry tariffs clearer; House Bill 2729, to amend the concurrent environmental assessment process for infrastructure projects; and Senate Bill 1513 to create the Fiscal Supervisory Board.

García-Padilla said the bills respond to recommendations included in the fiscal blueprint created by former IMF Economist Anne Krueger released earlier this year, which defined the steps Puerto Rico needed to take toward economic recovery.

Among other things, the Commonwealth needed to present a five-year fiscal and economic plan and create an independent non-partisan entity to monitor compliance with that plan. Last September, the Working Group for Puerto Rico’s Economic Recovery presented the Fiscal and Economic Growth Plan, and the bill creating the Supervisory Board was signed Tuesday.

Critics of the final version of the measure have said the Board’s powers have been watered down significantly from what was originally presented, leaving the entity with insufficient fiscal and enforcement capabilities.

The local board could become moot if U.S. Congress decides to condition any help to Puerto Rico on the creation of a fiscal control board to oversee the island’s recovery, as reported.

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