The President of the Senate, Thomas Rivera Schatz announced this morning that this legislative body would not concur with the House's substitute project of the central government spending budget charged to the general fund for the new fiscal year 2020-2021.  The measure has not been referred to a conference committee.
"Apparently we are not going to concur with the Chamber's version of the budget, so there is a possibility that the current budget will remain in force," Rivera said. Schatz from the Senate floor at the start of today's session. Later, a recess was decreed until 1:00 in the afternoon.
With his expressions, that the current budget would remain, the President of the Senate clung to the constitutional provision and set aside the mandate of the federal Promesa law and the Fiscal Oversight Board (JSF), which has imposed the government's spending budget for the past three years.
The Board had given it until today Monday June 29 to the legislative chambers so that they were able to agree on the budget for the new fiscal year and today, extended the term until tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30, the date on which the ordinary session expires.
Last Wednesday 24 In June, the Chamber approved a budget replacement bill with the same amount of $ 10,045 million that was submitted this year to the Legislature by the JSF. The Senate, for its part, approved the same amount, but with a different heading adjustment than that of the Chamber.
The budget of the JSF left out the payment of the Christmas Bonus, the Public Employees Compensation and Classification Plan, the assignment to WIPR, the catastrophe insurance, the incentive to resident doctors of the Department of Health and to the Elections Commission (CEE), assigned $ 9 million to run the general elections of next November 3.
For the Christmas Bonus, the Senate provided $ 64 million, while the House allocated $ 48 million. For the general election, the Senate version allocates $ 10 million and the House, $ 9 million. Also, for the public employee classification and compensation plan, the senatorial allocation is $ 57 million and the chamber allocation is $ 29 million.
The WIPR allocation of $ 7.5 million stayed the same on both measures.
Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced had sent the Legislative Chambers a budget of about $ 10,214 million, with a difference of $ 169 million with that of the JSF.
For its part, the non-progressive delegation in the Finance Commission said today that for the first time This time, a government operational budget has the possibility of not being imposed by the JSF
“This is the first time since the Board took office that the budget developed in the House of Representatives has a high probability of being the one among in force on July 1, instead of being a budget imposed by the Board ”. indicated in written statements the president of the Commission, Antonio “Tony” Soto.
According to the legislator, the letter last Friday from the executive director of the Board, Natalie Jaresko, “confirms that the budget that we are working on and approved in the Chamber of Representatives is consistent with the Fiscal Plan, for this reason, if adopted by the Legislative Assembly, the Board will not have to impose its budget and would certify ours for the first time. ”
“ This budget guarantees the Christmas Bonus, the Salary for WIPR employees, something that I have been fighting for since 2017. In addition, it achieves to provide salary justice to our public servants by implementing the new classification and remuneration plan effective on January 1 of next year. This is a tool to have a more robust, efficient and well-paid workforce, "said representative Maricarmen Mas Rodríguez, for her part.