Democracy as a Public Health Policy

A new study from the University of Michigan reports that Puerto Rico received significantly less help than Florida or Texas in the 2017 hurricane season. The total numbers of people and funding resources were smaller, and the response was slower. The result? Unnecessary levels of death and destruction. Scott Greer, a professor of health management… Read more »

CARIB-COAST Project Focused on Climate Change

A multinational research initiative, the CARIB-COAST project, is involving the University of Puerto Rico in a shared undertaking to capture and share data about climate change in the Caribbean. The CARIB-COAST project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research in Guadeloupe. The CARIB-COAST project last year… Read more »

Funds for Puerto Rico “Excessive”?

“Almost a year and a half since the hurricane,” said MSNBC news anchor Chris Hayes in a recent report, “there has been no sustained formal U.S. government inquiry into what happened to lead to the deaths of as many Americans as died in 9/11.” There have been calls for such an inquiry, but it has… Read more »

Puerto Rico Is Not a State: Why Not?

Puerto Rico has been a possession of the United States since 1898 — that’s 121 years at this writing. Puerto Rico is not the only territory of the United States, but it is the only one with a large population and the only one that has voted for statehood. No territory that has asked for… Read more »

Veterans in Congress May See Puerto Rico Differently

The new Freshman class in Congress contains the largest percentage of veterans seen in a decade.  From California’s Gil Cisneros, a former Navy officer, to Florida’s Rep. Michael Waltz, a former Green Beret, to New Jesey’s Christina Houlahan, a former Air Force officer, 19 of the new representatives have served in the U.S. military. Six… Read more »

Julian Castro Visits Puerto Rico

Julian Castro, who recently announced his intention to run for president in 2020, visited Puerto Rico to attend the Latino Political Summit, organized by the Latino Victory Fund. “I chose as my first visit after the announcement to come to Puerto Rico, because I want all the people of Puerto Rico to know that you… Read more »

Hawaii and Puerto Rico: Different Paths, Different Economies

The Republican Party Platform of 1940 considered two territories: Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Hawaii Hawaii, sharing the nation’s obligations equally with the several States, is entitled to the fullest measure of home rule; and to equality with the several States in the rights of her citizens and in the application of our national laws. Puerto… Read more »

Tax Credits for Puerto Rico

Many Americans are surprised to learn that nearly half of all U.S. households don’t pay federal income taxes, and many of these households receive tax refunds from the IRS.  To followers of federal policy towards Puerto Rico, this statistic carries a certain irony because Puerto Ricans do not pay federal income taxes from Puerto Rico sourced… Read more »

Puerto Rico Leaders Respond to Possible Diversion of Disaster Relief Funds

As discussion of President Trump’s plan for a wall between the United States and Mexico continues, the administration has considered new ideas to fund the project. One option is to declare a national state of emergency and divert funds already allocated for disaster relief to the construction of the wall. The Army Corps of Engineers… Read more »

Nutrition Assistance is Different in Puerto Rico

The federal nutrition assistance program operating in states – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – is an entitlement program that can expand to accommodate changing needs.  Individuals who qualify based on their financial situation can always join the program.  After an unexpected emergency – such as a hurricane – the program is available to all U.S. citizens… Read more »