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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

House speaker says he’ll appeal federal judge’s ruling to nullify labor reform amendments


Sen. Juan Zaragoza Gómez

By The Star Staff


After U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain nullified the amendments to the 2017 Labor Reform made through Law 41-2022, Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez announced that he will appeal the determination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.


Through his Twitter account, the House speaker shared a video where he stated that he “will go to Boston to the first circuit of appeals” to defend workers.


For his part, Sen. Juan Zaragoza Gómez, who has signaled that he plans to run for governor under the Popular Democratic Party banner, blamed Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia and Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF) Executive Director Omar Marrero Díaz, who is also the island secretary of state, for not defending Puerto Rico’s laws and public policy before the Financial Oversight and Management Board.


Zaragoza said the AAFAF “did not submit an estimate of the fiscal cost” for which the District Court made the decision to annul several amendments to the labor reform since the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) “requires evidence to demonstrate that the law does not impact the Fiscal Plan.”


“Pierluisi and the NPP [New Progressive Party] made the pantomime of signing laws in favor of workers and other causes, and then they don’t defend them before the [oversight] Board, which annuls them,” the senator said in a written statement. “In 2019, for example, the [Financial] Oversight [and Management] Board annulled several laws in the area of health, precisely because the NPP government did not defend them with evidence, as required by the PROMESA law.”


Likewise, Zaragoza indicated that in recent days a bill was approved that seeks to force the AAFAF to defend the laws approved by the Legislature.


Swain noted in a ruling last week that the government failed to provide a formal estimate under section 204(a) of PROMESA. She noted that such a requirement “means a complete and accurate estimate ‘covering revenue and expenditure effects of new legislation’ over the entire period of the fiscal plan.”


In the case of Act 41, the court said, “the governor has failed to show that the “formal” estimate requirement of section 204(a)(2)(A) has been satisfied.”

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