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Although he was not invited to participate in the learning session to be held by the House Committee on Natural Resources at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum next Friday, Governor Ricardo Rosselló said yesterday that he will meet with his members at La Fortaleza.

The Governor said he will use the meeting with the delegation to talk about PROMESA and the Puerto Rican status.

As part of the learning session agenda, the Committee chaired by Democrat Raúl Grijalva will address possible claims for amendments to Promesa.

The Governor said that if the Committee is willing to review PROMESA, he would focus on clarifying that they are willing to open Promesa again, he would "focus on clarifying the language stating that the Oversight Board can not get into operational or public policy issues of the government and that any interference in that regard it is obsolete. "

The Governor said this in an aside with journalists after participating in the Community Summit for the Recovery of Puerto Rico.

"This has been the biggest problem we've had. We recognize that there is a fiscal situation in Puerto Rico and we have worked on it ... the interference of the Board in trying to run the government and obstructing several things has turned into a great detriment for the people of Puerto Rico and has resulted in the failure of the experiment of the Board," he said, stressing that he is philosophically opposed to the entity.

Promesa Section 204 gives the Board authority to request the Governor to submit quarterly reports on income and expenses. If there are discrepancies over the budget, the entity can order the government to establish measures to correct them.

If the governor does not take the required measures, the law authorizes the Board to make the cuts it deems necessary. The Board can also make the changes to the island's budget.

The Board also has veto power over any law approved, as well as regulations, rules and contracts.

All these powers have been recognized in court.

Rosselló will also seek to discuss the Puerto Rican status with the Committee with the delegation. The Governor said he will promote a statehood  “yes-or-no” referendum, and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González announced that she intends to file a 

pro-statehood bill this Congress. 

Last December, Grijalva indicated that a Puerto Rican status referendum was not among his priorities, and that if they were to legislate on that, it would not be a referendum like the one proposed by the governor.

On Thursday, the leader of the Senate Democratic minority Charles Schumer said that Puerto Rico has not shown interest in becoming a state.

A new party

Meanwhile, Rosselló welcomed the creation of the Victoria Ciudadana Movement (Citizens´Victory) , whose members will officially present their proposals tomorrow at the Tapia Theater in Old San Juan.

Rosselló's position contrasts with that of the president of Popular Democratic Party (PPD)  Aníbal José Torres, who last weed said, among other things, that the only movement that can confront the New Progressive Party "monster" is the PPD.

On Thursday, Torres said that never before in the history of the island has it been so important to join forces to face those who, without capacity or experience and with greed and lack of sensitivity, seek to remain in power. 

Torres said that it´s time to take the destiny of the island seriously and stop playing games or personal adventures.

Yesterday, Rosselló said he did not have details on the vision of the movement, beyond the fact that it´s socialist-oriented. In general terms, Rosselló, who is also the president of the New Progressive Party, was open to let a new player join the political arena.

Rosselló said that although he knows the people in the movement, he does not clearly know what movement is about. “I don´t have a broader picture, but it´s up to them to gain the support of the people of Puerto Rico,” he remarked.   

“Let them set their position and if that position is to project and sell a perspective, a more liberal socialist vision, they have the platform to do it,” said Rosselló. “My vision is clearly outlined and I will present it against any other position.” 

To questions from El Nuevo Día, the Governor acknowledged that the new movement has fertile ground to attract voters tired of bipartisanship.

The Victoria Ciudadana Movement brings together politicians such as former candidates for governor Rafael Bernabe and Alexandra Lúgaro, independent representative Manuel Natal, political analyst and professor Néstor Duprey and former president of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, Ana Irma Rivera Lassén.


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