SAN JUAN – Accompanied by several of the 56 candidates of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) for the House and Senate for all representative districts, the candidates for the House and Senate by Accumulation, Denis Márquez and María de Lourdes Santiago, presented on Wednesday, 20 Proposals for Transparency and Legislative Transformation, which emphasize the disclosure of information, restrictions on payroll expenses and contracts, the equitable participation of the different delegations and the inclusion of the citizenry.
“We present these proposals, some of which are reiterations of proposals that we have made previously, as measures that can be put into effect immediately. However, we insist – and again we will file a measure to that effect, that Puerto Rico must move to a unicameral legislative system with proportional representation, which does not hand over absolute power to a single party. It is this unrestricted dominance that causes many of the situations that have long scandalized the country, “said Representative Márquez, current PIP spokesperson in the Chamber in written statements.
For her part, the senatorial candidate María de Lourdes Santiago stressed that, “although many of the things that we propose could be put into effect as administrative initiatives, we have seen a stubborn trend towards the opposite: the concealment of information, the budgetary debauchery even in times of austerity. In this context, legislation is required that, in addition to establishing limits and controls, can be invoked by the public through simple and quick procedures. Today some of the 16 candidates for the Senate and 40 candidates for the House by district are with us and it is our commitment, as a legislative team with the capacity to reach a parliamentary majority, to transform the Legislative Assembly so that it is transparent, honest and inclusive ”.
The Proposals for Transparency and Transformation of the Legislative Assembly are the following:
- Disclosure through digital media of:
- Budgets of legislative and administrative offices
- Update the publication if there are changes in the games
- Payroll data, including names, salaries and functions of employees and contractors
- Creation, through Resolution, of a Special Commission with equitable participation of all delegations, for approval, disbursement and audit of the legislative budget
- Establish a Classification and Compensation Plan for employees of the Chamber, Senate, Office of Legislative Services, Superintendency of the Capitol and other administrative agencies
- Prohibition of nepotism and elimination of the waiver mechanism
- Prohibition of advice by a natural or legal person to more than one legislator or legislator
- Strict control of superfluous expenses in purchases of promotional products and in tribute activities
- Elimination of promotional slogans such as: “Chamber of Vision and Progress”, “The Great House of Our People”, “Senate of Hope and Progress” or “Senate Open to the People”.
- Prohibit the promotion and exaltation of the Presidents of the bodies with public funds
- Expand citizen participation in legislative processes through the creation of an Office for Citizen Participation and Lobbying
- Publication of the processes of the Auction Boards of the Chamber, Senate and other legislative agencies
- Amend the Register of Lobbyists, so that they are obliged to disclose which legislators they visited and in relation to what matter
- All the resources of the Press and Communications Offices will be available on equal terms to all legislators, without being limited to those with a majority.
- Obligation to include all members of the Conference Committees in the determinations that are made and in the voting of Reports
- Establish a Panel of Citizens for the determinations of “Probable Cause” in Ethical Complaints against Legislators and Legislators
- Restructuring of the Legislative Donations Commissions to eliminate political-partisan criteria
- Equitable participation in public hearings for minorities
- Elimination of the so-called “barrels” from the legislation and from any mechanism that fulfills that purpose
- Guarantee compliance with the constitutional mandate of access to the hemicycle (bleachers) of all citizens or interest groups
- Immediately guarantee quick and easy access to the publication of legislative measures, the procedure they have followed, the calendars of public hearings, the papers presented and the reports of the Commissions
- Establish clear, precise and orderly work calendars for the legislative calendar, in such a way as to avoid the agglomeration of measures in the session closings and the “kidnapping” of projects due to quarrels or negotiations between the legislative bodies