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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor says judges’ salaries should be legislated

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that he does not rule out introducing legislation to address the controversy over an increase in judges’ salaries.

“To avoid that kind of controversy in the future, that would be to address the issue again on the merits,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “I think that the ideal would be to legislate. I’m saying it and I’m reserving the right to introduce a bill aimed exclusively at making those increases permanent and that this is established by a special law.”

“The increase was included in the budget based on the premise that it was going to be legislated,” Pierluisi added. “That’s my memory of it. And what happened? It was not legislated because it was blocked when at the House level they intended not only to attend to the increases of the judges, but also to add on the executive branch and the legislators themselves. There it gets stuck and although we will see where that case ends, I think that the best way to put an end to this controversy and so that the good name of the Supreme Court is not tarnished, is to legislate.”

The governor said he regretted the statements of Speaker of the House of Representatives Rafael Hernández Montañez, who accused the judges of legislating a salary increase.

“That type of accusation is unfortunate because it is important that the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico be respected and that its objectivity is not questioned from day one,” Pierluisi said.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court did not grant the House of Representatives’ request in the case, Marrero Guerrero v. E.L.A., consolidated with the case of Puerto Rican Association of the Judiciary, Inc. v. House of Representatives.

The reason for the dismissal was because the House of Representatives failed to complete its appeal in time, as it failed to notify one of the parties to the case within the time period established for appeal as required by the applicable procedural rules. The trial court’s decision was issued on Nov. 17, 2023, while the House of Representatives filed its appeal on Jan. 12, without serving its brief on the Office of Courts Administration in a timely fashion.aa

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