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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bill would allow Justice Dept. to revise salary scales for prosecutors, others

Speaker of the House of Representatives Rafael Hernández Montañez

By The Star Staff

The Justice Department will have the authority to revise the salary scales applicable to district and assistant district attorneys, attorneys for children and families, and property registrars under bipartisan legislation announced on Monday.

House Bill 1343 was introduced on May 5 by Speaker of the House of Representatives Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, Treasury Committee Chairman Jesús Santa Rodríguez and New Progressive Party Reps. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez and José E. Meléndez Ortiz.

The legislation would establish five salary categories for prosecutors, would ban the reduction of salary bases established by law, and would establish transitory clauses inherent to such a reformulation of public policy.

The bill comes after the Justice Department warned in a public hearing before the Senate Treasury Committee that it could lose an undetermined number of prosecutors due to the Classification and Compensation Plan because as private lawyers they would earn more than they do as prosecutors.

Given this, Hernández Montañez stated that the Department of Justice cannot be allowed to continue losing officials who are vital in day-to-day operations.

“There are valid concerns about the Classification and Redeployment Plan, which does not contain provisions for employees such as prosecutors and attorneys,” the House speaker said in a press release. “Our duty is to unite wills in search of alternatives, and this measure goes in that direction.”

Méndez Nunez stated meanwhile that “there are some areas that the secretary of Justice brought to our attention, particularly that the implementation of the new Classification and Redistribution Plan does not completely adjust the salary scale of the men and women who work as prosecutors and as attorneys for minors and families.”

“We are not going to leave our prosecutors and attorneys alone in this, we are going to support them and this measure moves in that direction.”

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