Posts Categorized: Archives

Medicaid Fix Reflects Disadvantages of Being a U.S. Territory

Congress is on track to enact a $1.4 trillion spending deal this week, preventing  the kind of government shut down that took place last year. Included in the bill is $5.7 billion in Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico over the next two years. Initially, the bipartisan agreement hammered out by the House Energy and Commerce… Read more »

Governor Vazquez Reminds Congress of Medicaid Needs

On Wednesday, Governor Wanda Vazquez of Puerto Rico sent a letter to Congressional leaders calling for continued extended Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico. The letter was timely as lead Congressional negotiators finalize their decisions on U.S. Medicaid spending in Puerto Rico in end of the year legislative proposals expected to pass this week. Puerto Rico’s… Read more »

Puerto Ricans Continue to Wait for Disaster Funds

“More than two years after Hurricane Maria destroyed their homes, businesses, and public infrastructure,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, “the American people  of Puerto Rico are without much-needed relief and recovery assistance because of perpetual and illegal stonewalling by this administration.” This statement was made in a press conference by… Read more »

Joe Biden Takes Trump to Task on Puerto Rico

Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the United States who is a candidate in the 2020 presidential race, wrote an opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel about President Trump and Puerto Rico. “Our president should be able to meet a simple test,” Biden wrote, “understanding that Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and that they… Read more »

Understanding Insular Areas

The U.S. Office of Insular Affairs, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, defines “insular area” as “a jurisdiction that is neither a part of one of the several States nor a Federal district.” This definition encompasses both territories and freely associated states (FAS). The official definition also includes possessions of the… Read more »

Mapping Ancient Puerto Rico Culture Before It’s Too Late

Archaeologists and anthropologists have been working to learn about indigenous people of Puerto Rico for decades. Recent discoveries have confirmed that DNA markers from ancient inhabitants can still be found in the modern population of the Island, and an unidentified writing system may be  evidence of a previously unknown culture. There is clearly much more… Read more »

Puerto Rican Births At Lowest Level in 80 Years

Puerto Rico’s Demographic Registry expects 20,700 births in 2019 — the lowest amount since records began being collected 80 years ago. The number of deaths is projected to be 28,800, contributing to the population decline that is primarily due to residents moving from the territory to a State for greater opportunity as American citizens. The territory… Read more »

Growing Hemp in Puerto Rico

The 2018 farm bill redefined hemp as an agricultural commodity and removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration, opening the possibility of hemp growing for Puerto Rico. Irving Rodríguez, director of the Office for Licensing and Inspection of Hemp of the Department of Agriculture, reports that his… Read more »

Strained Relations between FOMB and Legislature on Display in Recent Letter

Expressing concern about the fiscal impact of legislation passed during the just-ended session of the Legislative Assembly, Puerto Rico’s Federal Oversight and Management Board reached out to Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz and House of Representatives Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Mendez last week in a letter —  also sent to the Governor — regarding the legislature’s handling… Read more »