Posts Categorized: Archives

A Page from History: Hurricane Felipe in 1928

Hurricane Felipe, which made landfall in Puerto Rico in 1928, was the worst hurricane the Island had ever experienced before Hurricane Maria in 2017. While the states hit by Maria have generally rebuilt and life has largely returned to normal, Puerto Rico is still coping with the devastating damage of Hurricane Maria. Electric power, safe… Read more »

Federal Disaster Funds Should Not Be Used for Debt Payments, Say Legislators

A group of members from the U.S. House of Representatives has written to the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) to clarify and emphasize that all federal disaster relief funding must be dedicated towards the Island’s recovery — not for payments to creditors. Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and a spokesman for the senior… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Population after Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico has received federal disaster recovery funding in the most recent budget bill passed by Congress. In addition to rebuilding from the catastrophic damage caused by the hurricanes of 2017, Puerto Rico needs economic growth over the long term. The Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico recommended a number of actions in… Read more »

Nydia Velazquez Supports Small Business Legislation for Puerto Rico

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (R-NY), ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, introduced the Small Business Access to Capital After a Natural Disaster Act. It passed in the House last month with bipartisan support. Velazquez described the bill as a “simple and straightforward” bill to “consider the unique challenges that small businesses affected by hurricanes or… Read more »

Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics Threatened

The final report of the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico expressed concerns about the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics. The report pointed out the importance of accurate data in government decision making, and listed the many ways in which Puerto Rico is simply left out of U.S. federal government data collection.”In… Read more »

Federal Disaster Relief Provides Billions of Dollars for Puerto Rico

The federal spending law enacted on Friday provides tens of billions of dollars to Puerto Rico for recovery from Hurricanes Maria and Irma. The law also allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund construction of new government infrastructure in the territory, not limited only to facilities that were damaged by the disasters. The… Read more »

Puerto Ricans as Immigrants and Other Misperceptions

People born in Puerto Rico are coming to the States in large numbers. Immigration is a major political issue. These two issues have nothing to do with each other, in reality, because Puerto Ricans are natural-born U.S. citizens. But immigration and Puerto Rico’s status still tend to become entangled politically. Here are some reasons that… Read more »

Confused about Medicaid and Puerto Rico?

Medicaid is the federally-funded medical assistance available in every state for any person who cannot afford to pay for their own healthcare costs. (Medicare is specifically for elderly and disabled individuals.) States can refuse Medicaid (though none currently do) and each state sets its own eligibility criteria. However, the federal government determines how much of… Read more »

Lawmakers Seek Answers on Puerto Rico Electric Privatization Plan

Following Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s  announcement to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) wrote today to the Governor requesting additional details on the plan, including assurances on affordable rates and reliable service. “It is evident to us that… Read more »