On its way to La Fortaleza a bill to stop electric bill increases
By The Star Staff
The House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 728, which orders the Treasury Department to create the Electric System Stabilization Fund to cover sudden increases in the cost of fuel and energy in the market. This way, the government could absorb such increases in the market so that they do not end up on consumers’ electricity bills.
The creation of the Fund allows the money deposited therein to be used to purchase fuel and energy in advance when market prices are lower. The proposal initially establishes that the Fund would be fed by the approximately $320 million debt owed to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) by some government agencies, public corporations, and municipalities of Puerto Rico. This is a budgeted, liquid, and enforceable debt, which only needs to be duly collected.
Bill 728 was authored by Senators Joanne Rodríguez Vevé, of the Dignity Project (DP), Gretchen Marie Hau, chair of the Legal Committee, and Ramoncito Ruiz Nieves, chair of the Government Committee, both of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP).
Rodríguez Veve pointed out that “with the creation of this Stabilization Fund, the government will have a permanent structure to which to continue raising funds, both federal and local, to avoid further increases in the electricity bill.”
For her part, Hau said that “with the creation of this permanent structure, we would also have the guarantee of transparency in the use of the funds, and we assure the people that the resources will be used correctly for the benefit of Puerto Rican families, businesses and industries.”
Ruiz Nieves said, “we are confident that the Governor, taking as a principle the best welfare of the Puerto Rican people, will sign Senate Bill 728 as soon as it reaches his desk. There’s no time to lose.”