Governor: Fiscal board must back up its objection to Labor Reform
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that the Financial Oversight and Management Board’s objection to the Labor Reform bill must be substantiated in order to take it into account when deciding whether or not to sign the measure.
“The board raised an objection that we are going to review carefully to see if it is well founded, because the Board does not necessarily express itself in a way that I am going to agree with,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “It may be that I disagree; we have to see what basis was raised by the board.”
“When they talk to me about the Fiscal Plan, for example, it’s not like anything that could be inconsistent with the Fiscal Plan which violates PROMESA [the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act]; it doesn’t work like that,” he added.
“I am going to review that letter to see if that bill that is in my office … first, I do not know if the board had the opportunity to review the bill as approved,” Pierluisi said. “That’s the first thing I would say; we have to see if the board was giving an opinion on another version of the bill because this bill has changed during the legislative process.”
“Second, I want to see what the so-called inconsistency with the Fiscal Plan is, because it has to be significant and it is not a question of not being to your liking, because it doesn’t work that way,” the governor continued. “The board may not arbitrarily obstruct the legislative process in Puerto Rico. That would be excessive. I will review that letter and take it into consideration when making my decision. But don’t think that because the board objects, that necessarily means that I veto the measure, no. I am going to sign or veto that measure according to my own criteria.”
On Monday, the oversight board chairman, David Skeel, stated that House Bill 1244 on Labor Reform is inconsistent with the certified Fiscal Plan and with PROMESA.