Electoral Code amendments slated for House approval in next legislative session
By The Star Staff
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives José “Conny” Varela Fernández announced over the weekend that Senate Bill 909, which contains amendments to the Electoral Code, will be approved in the next legislative session that starts in August.
“We received the version approved by the Senate this morning. That version, which is about 150 pages long, apparently contains substantial amendments to what had been submitted originally to us. These amendments need to be carefully evaluated and discussed with fellow representatives,” Varela, who represents Caguas, said Saturday in a written statement. “That process cannot be done in a hurry and in the midst of all the workload we have today, including consideration of the budget and related measures. For this reason, we will not have to consider this matter this afternoon.”
Varela Fernández said that despite the fact that the committee he chairs had proposed a draft amendment to the Electoral Code in the first yearly session of 2021, Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President José Luis Dalmau Santiago, who is also the Senate president, introduced separate legislation written by PDP Electoral Commissioner Ramón Torres Cruz and Deputy Electoral Commissioner Jorge Colberg Toro.
The Senate approved the measure last week with amendments.
“When I assumed the chairmanship of the Electoral Affairs Committee of the House, I promised that I was going to evaluate the Electoral Code responsibly, to avoid the disaster caused by the [New Progressive Party] in 2020,” Varela Fernández said. “It is my intention to fulfill that promise.”