Bill seeks an alternative for paying PREPA pensions
By The Star Staff
The New Progressive Party (NPP) minority leader in the island House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez, along with District 4 (San Juan) Rep. Víctor Parés Otero, announced the upcoming filing of a bill to seek alternatives in the budget with the purpose of paying the debt owed on the pensions of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) employees.
“Continuing our commitment to seek real solutions to address the debt of pensioners, today we held a very productive meeting with members of the board against increases in the electricity rate, including officials of the United Retailers Center and the Manufacturers Association, among others, to achieve a consensus on where we can move to pay pensions and avoid the increase,” Méndez Nuñez said Monday.
The meeting was held at the NPP’s Portazo office on Capitol Hill and lasted for more than an hour.
“Today we met with the ‘Not One More Increase’ board to prevent PREPA, under the Debt Adjustment Plan, from imposing an additional charge on the consumer to be used to pay the debt with pensioners,” Parés Otero said. “At this meeting we agreed to work on legislation so that the debt … can be paid.”
“With this legislation that we will be working on in consensus, we avoid a charge on the electricity rate,” he added. “We’re talking about $1.5 billion that we’re going to look for ways to prevent from being included in the charge.”
In September, members of the aforementioned board from about 60 organizations and entities in Puerto Rico requested help to avoid an additional charge in the electricity bill to cover pension debt with the some 12,000 PREPA retirees.