Ex-officeholders, academics to lead virtual conferences on legislative process
By John McPhaul
Former Popular Democratic Party Rep. Luis Vega Ramos; the former secretary of state, professor Kenneth McClintock; former Gov. Alejandro García Padilla; the dean of the Inter-American University School of Law, Dr. Julio Fontanet; and former Puerto Rican Independence Party Rep. Víctor García San Inocencio will be the panelists in virtual conferences that the Office of Citizen Participation and the Office of Legislative Services will offer to the public so that people can better understand the legislative process.
The conferences, which will be offered through the Zoom platform in the format of a “webinar,” will begin Thursday and will run until November. They will address issues such as the operation of legislative sessions, the three branches of government, the Bill of Rights of the Puerto Rico Constitution and citizen lobbying.
“We want to make the development of these issues accessible to the public through the voices of experts in each area so that they can better understand the functioning of the Legislative Assembly and integrate into the processes in an effective way,” said Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago.
The first conference will be led by Vega Ramos, who will explain how laws are passed in Puerto Rico and how the two legislative bodies interact in the process. He will address issues that can advance or slow down the discussion of bills and resolutions in the Legislative Assembly. The conference will be held at 2 p.m. Citizens can register at the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RxOD0sN5RWCkJUrQsWv29g
“This is the first round of a series of conferences that we will continue to offer to the public and that we trust will strengthen citizen participation in legislative processes and in the defense of democratic values that characterize the Puerto Rican government and society,” Dalmau Santiago added.
The next lecture, entitled “Legislative Sessions: What Are They, How Are They Happening, and How Are They Organized?” will be delivered by McClintock on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. The 13th president of the Senate will explain how legislative sessions work and how they are organized. He will also speak about the internal and political dynamics that characterize them. To register, citizens can access the link: https: //us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Hok4HBLZTZOSpQ2JOwDG7g
García Padilla, meanwhile, will discuss how the three branches of government are related and converge in the Legislative Assembly. The conference will be offered on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. To participate visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_k0YX7EQMTdeuTBPjUMWoiQ
“The Bill of Rights of the Puerto Rico Constitution” and “Citizen Lobbying: What Is It and How Can We Be Effective,” are the other two discussion topics, which will be led by Fontanet and García San Inocencio, respectively. The conferences will be held on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at 2 p.m. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RmWICl1fTx2-ktVZPhObzg and Thursday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fffs6k1MRVK78q4hqeb4GQ