Rosselló Administration Shuns the Fiscal Control Board's Power to Review Legislation
As anticipated during public appearances recently, the Governor's representative before the Fiscal Control Board (FCB), Elías Sánchez, told the Board that they do not have capacity to review the legislation that the Rosselló Administration has approved in their first days in office.
The contrary view, Sánchez said, would constitute an intervention in the autonomy of the Government of Puerto Rico. Sánchez's statement does not address another point of controversy with the Board in the last week: wether or not that entity has authority to control the Legislature's expenditures.
Sánchez notes in a four-page letter sent to the Board that the entity does not have the capacity to review the legislation promoted by the Executive and approved in the Legislature during the first days of his term.
The letter made public today is the response to another letter sent by the Board in which they assert the need for the Executive to consult with them any legislation.
'The request of the Fiscal Oversight Board to review all legislation, as a right, is not contemplated in the PROMESA Act and violates the autonomy of the Government of Puerto Rico,' said Sánchez.
The representative of the Governor quoted in his letter the congressional report that is part of the legislative record of the PROMESA Act. Specifically, in the part that mandates that the Board and the Government work as 'partners for prosperity' and not as 'petty ivals for power'; the part that indicates that if the Government of Puerto Rico legislates 'responsibly' the Board would not have to interfere with the legislation; another which says that the legislation would be 'isolated' from Board review if the Government certifies that it is not inconsistent with the approved Fiscal Plan; and where it indicates that elected officials have 'autonomy' to develop the Fiscal Plan.
The Rosselló Nevares Administration's position on the Board's intervention capacity at this moment is two-pronged: that since there is no authorized Fiscal Plan there is no possibility that legislation 'clashes' with the Fiscal Plan, and that, since payments have been made to bondholders, there is no effect on creditors' rights the goverment's ability to pay is not jeopardized.
For a copy of the letter, see below.