Posts Categorized: Archives

States and Territories Step up as Friends of the Court

The Supreme Court is in the midst of deciding whether the U.S. Dept. of Justice is in the right when they defend the decision by Congress to exclude Puerto Rico (and other U.S. Territories) from SSI, Supplemental Security Income, financial assistance awarded to people who are needy, elderly, and who have disabilities. The Social Security… Read more »

A Constitutional Amendment for Statehood?

A new House Joint Resolution has been proposed. H.J.Res. 42 would introduce “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to provide that a new State may only be admitted into the Union upon a vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress.” The resolution was introduced by Tom McClintock (R-CA). It currently has… Read more »

An Emerging Entrepreneurial Paradise?

Non-profit Invest Puerto Rico is promoting Puerto Rico as “an emerging entrepreneurial paradise.” Are they right? They report that more than 15,000 people have participated in entrepreneurship programs backed by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, & Research Trust (PRSTRT). They point to a range of factors: An educated, bilingual workforce A network of co-working spaces… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Return-to-Work Incentive Program

Puerto Rico is offering a Return-to-Work Incentive Program, as are a number of states, including Kentucky, Arizona, and Maine. The Return-to-Work Incentive Programs are intended to encourage American workers to return to the workforce at a time when many employers are having trouble filling positions. The funds are directed specifically toward people on unemployment benefits…. Read more »

Some in Congress Support Both Status Bills

There are currently two bills on Puerto Rico status being considered in Congress, and specifically in the House Natural Resources Committee: HR 1522 HR 2070 The two bills seem to be in direct conflict with each other. HR 1522 recognizes the November 2020 referendum, in which a majority of voters chose statehood. It calls for… Read more »

The Battle for Latin America

China is investing heavily in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and may also be working hard to improve public perception of China in that part of the world. The United States, on the other hand, has been exerting less influence in the region. The percentage of exports from LAC to China went from 1.1%… Read more »

Puerto Rico Moves to Level 4 on CDC’s Travel Advisory List

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has added Puerto Rico to its list of Level 4 (highest risk) travel destinations. “Get fully vaccinated before traveling to Puerto Rico,” the latest recommendation reads. Level 4 also carries the message, “Avoid travel to this destination” on the page defining the levels. For Puerto Rico, this classification could… Read more »

Supreme Court Considers Extension of SSI Benefits to Puerto Rico

Jose Luis Vaello-Madero received SSI benefits from Social Security when he lived in New York. When he moved to Puerto Rico, he continued receiving those benefits for several years, even though residents of Puerto Rico are not eligible for SSI. SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is specifically for elderly, disabled, needy individuals. When Social Security… Read more »

How Puerto Rico Will Spend ARP Funds

Puerto Rico Governor Pero Pierluisi has released details of the distribution of American Rescue Plan Act, or ARP, funds received by Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico will receive $4.02 billion in funding. $2.47 billion will go to the Island’s central government and $1.55 billion to municipal governments. The American Rescue Plan was enacted by Congress in… Read more »

Updated Census Data for Puerto Rico

The U.S. Census Bureau has released new information from the most recent Census. One of the biggest pieces of news from the new data is that there are now five states and territories in which people who identify themselves as white are not the largest group: California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico…. Read more »