House members say they won’t repeal retirement law

By John McPhaul

Members of the island House of Representatives declared Sunday that they will not repeal the Law for a Dignified Retirement, that they will go to court to defend it and will hold the position of zero percent cuts to pensioners in the debt restructuring process.

The declaration was announced in a written statement by Speaker of the House of Representatives Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, Labor Affairs Committee Chairman Domingo Torres García and the Economic Development, Planning, Telecommunications, Public-Private Partnerships and Energy Committee Chairman Luis Raúl Torres Cruz.

“Today [Sunday] we announce to the country that the House of Representatives will defend the Dignified Retirement Law in court, and we urge workers, retirees and sectors of civil society to unite in a single front in defense of the workers and against the fiscal control board and Governor Pedro Pierluisi,” Hernández Montañez said.

The governor, the House speaker said, “[went back on] his commitment to the retirees of Puerto Rico by not defending the Dignified Retirement Law before the claim from the Financial Oversight and Management Board.”

For his part, Torres García maintained that the legislative intention of the measure from the beginning was to give it space and lay the legal bases so that retirees can claim their proprietary right over the pensions in the courts, like the rest of the creditors.

“At this historical moment, all these actions become more relevant, since in the past four years, [former Gov.] Ricardo Rosselló, [former House Speaker] Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez and [former Senate President] Thomas Rivera Schatz spent all the funds of the retirees in the Retirement System in the first three months of the 2017, leaving the workers defenseless,” Torres García said.

Torres Cruz called on the island’s working class to unite in a struggle that affects the majority of Puerto Ricans.

“We urge all workers to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the fiscal control board against the Dignified Retirement Law, to together defend pensions,” he said.

The Popular Democratic Party legislators called for “all sectors of civil society and the diaspora to unite in one voice in two additional lawsuits that are ongoing in the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit of Boston, in which the government of Puerto Rico sued the fiscal control board to challenge the absolute deference that Judge Laura Taylor Swain has given to the board up to now to, arbitrarily and unreasonably, paralyze legislation approved on the island so that it cannot be executed.”

Legislators listed the laws stalled under Section 204 (c) of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act:

1. Law 82 2019: Regulates the Administrators of Benefits and Pharmacy Services.

2. Law 138 2019: Establishes that health services organizations may not deny the request of a health professional or provider when they meet the necessary requirements to exercise their profession or functions.

3. Law 47 2020: Expands the health professionals to whom the tax incentive of 4% of income tax applies, in order to prevent the flight of health professionals from Puerto Rico.

23 views0 comments