By John McPhaul
The New Progressive Party (NPP) minority leader in the island House of Representatives, Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez, announced on Sunday the party’s legislative agenda for the new ordinary session that begins today.
“This session, among the initiatives that we will be working on are identifying actions to lower the cost of food products,” Méndez Núñez said in a written statement. “We are facing a historic inflation rate of 9.1 percent. This has a devastating effect on the purchasing power of our people. The prices of items in supermarkets are too high. Comrade Joel Franqui has presented legislation on this matter. That is something that we will look at, as well as proposals to reduce the cost of food and basic necessities.”
The NPP legislative agenda also includes achieving reductions in electricity and drinking water rates.
“The goal is to lower the electricity bill for people now. For that you need cheaper fuel,” the legislator added. “The price of Bunker C, the fuel that the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) uses to generate electricity, is very volatile, in addition to the fact that the system cannot comply with federal regulations in the Mercury and Air Toxicity Standard (MATS). Natural gas costs half the price of oil, which means that the electricity bill could be reduced by over 45 percent instantly when this conversion takes effect.”
Other areas that the NPP House delegation will be working on are to assist in the transition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP, retention of medical students and improvements to schools, among other issues.
“Our delegation is committed to the approval of HR 8393 (The Puerto Rico Status Act),” Méndez Núñez said. “In addition to making affirmative steps in Congress, we will be pressuring the candidates for federal representatives who now, in these months, have primaries, to support the bipartisan measure that would give Puerto Rico the equal rights that the people have called for at the polls, freely and democratically.”