Caribbean Business is reporting that U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) is preparing to introduce a Senate version of Puerto Rican self determination legislation similar to a proposal launched by the territory’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi last year (H.R. 2000).
The proposal calls for a federally approved plebiscite in which voters in Puerto Rico cast a simple up-or-down vote on statehood.
At a Capitol Hill rally last November, Sen. Heinrich spoke about his home state’s experience as a territory. Referring to Puerto Rico’s 2012 plebiscite results, Heinrich explained: “We cannot govern Puerto Rico without its consent. In my home state of New Mexico, we spent 66 years as a territory – longer than any state in the nation today. But as all of you know, Puerto Rico has spent 123 years as an American territory. That’s long enough.”
Senator Heinrich also spoke about New Mexico’s proud history of bilingualism, noting that Spanish is widely spoken in the state and that “New Mexicans are no less American for it.”