Posts Categorized: Archives

GAO Report on Puerto Rico Calls for Realism

The General Accounting Office has released a report to Congress:  “Puerto Rico – Factors Contributing to the Debt Crisis and Potential Federal Actions to Address Them.” The report provides an update on the financial position of Puerto Rico, which includes $70 billion in outstanding public debt and $50 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Causes of… Read more »

Hurricane Maria’s Effects on Puerto Rico’s Political Status

Puerto Rico’s political status has had a significant impact on recovery efforts on the Island. Without the political power of a State, Puerto Rico is still struggling to restore basic services months after the 2017 hurricane season. With the 2018 hurricane season on the horizon, the territory is still living with the outdated and dilapidated… Read more »

How Long Does Disaster Recovery Take?

In October, as the death toll from Hurricane Maria continued to rise, President Trump remarked that disaster recovery workers from the States couldn’t be expected to stay in Puerto Rico “forever.” “We cannot keep FEMA, the military & the first responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in [Puerto Rico] forever,” he… Read more »

Melissa Mark-Viverito Misses the Mark on Puerto Rico Statehood

Melissa Mark-Viverito recently wrote an opinion piece at The Hill claiming that statehood for Puerto Rico is not a good idea. She used Florida Governor Rick Scott’s support of statehood as her starting point, but the post is not about Governor Scott or his views. Mark-Viverito is instead trying to claim that Puerto Rico’s voters… Read more »

Puerto Rico Is an Opportunity Zone

As tax policy experts dissect federal tax legislation enacted last year, one provision that is gaining increased attention may hold special promise for Puerto Rico:  Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones are low-income areas that offer financial incentives to potential investors.  The goal is to build up distressed communities.  Areas must have at least a 20% poverty rate… Read more »

Rep. Rob Bishop on Statehood for Puerto Rico

At a press conference in Puerto Rico on Friday, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) spoke out in favor of statehood for the U.S. territory. “I want to be very clear: I’m in favor of Puerto Rico statehood,” he said. “If people are willing to sit down, put partisanship aside, and do what is best for the… Read more »

Governor Loses Top Aide, Others in Scandal

Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares last evening lost the services of his chief aide and deputy chief aide as well as three other senior officials of his administration because of a campaign scandal, an alleged cover-up attempt, and related ethical questions. The actions were taken after Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez Garced reported the findings of an… Read more »

FOMB Sets Deadlines for Government; House Chairman to Visit Puerto Rico

The PROMESA Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) late yesterday released a letter dated Monday asking the Puerto Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority for a timetable for past-due audited financial statements for the territorial government by next Monday. The statements would cover the fiscal years ending June 30, 2015, ‘16, and ’17. In another Monday… Read more »

With $8 Billion in the Bank, New Loans Not in Sight

The Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority reported yesterday that the territorial Treasury’s main account had grown to $2.095 billion as of April 13th and that deposits in all government accounts had increased to $7.946 billion as of March 31st. The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)… Read more »

Rep. Soto Asks for Transitional Shelter Assistance

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) has written to FEMA administrator William Long asking for a further extension of the TSA (Transitional Shelter Assistance) program for people displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. The TSA program, described in Soto’s letter as the Temporary Shelter Assistance program,provides temporary housing for victims of natural disasters after shelters have… Read more »