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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Cataño mayor urges House to approve bill that boosts emergency aid available in towns

Cataño Mayor Julio Alicea Vasallo

By The Star Staff

Cataño Mayor Julio Alicea Vasallo on Wednesday endorsed Senate Bill 834, which would increase by $1,000 the amount of aid to citizens in emergency situations without the authorization of the municipal assembly.

In cases of fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane and other exceptional circumstances, the donation could reach $2,500.

“This measure does justice to the most vulnerable citizens and makes it easier for municipalities to quickly and efficiently meet their needs,” Alicea Vasallo said in a written statement. “We urge the House of Representatives to approve this measure that enjoys the support of the Federation and the Association of Mayors of Puerto Rico.”

The Puerto Rico Municipal Code of 2020 establishes in its article 2.034 that mayors can offer aid of $500, and in exceptional cases up to $1,500. Those amounts were fixed 26 years ago in the Autonomous Municipalities Law of 1997.

The measure approved in the Senate this week does not allocate additional economic resources for the stipulated increases. That is, the aid must be entered into municipal budget items for those purposes.

“We thank the senator for the district of Bayamón, Migdalia Padilla Alvelo, for having listened to our demand and for her sensitivity in filing the measure and her action in addressing these issues of such importance for the municipalities,” the Cataño mayor said. “We trust that the House of Representatives will approve this bill that also recognizes the work of mayors in meeting the urgent needs of our constituents.”

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