Rep. Méndez thanks Senate for passing bill that enables salary hikes for prosecutors, DAs
By The Star Staff
Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez, the New Progressive Party minority leader in the island House of Representatives, thanked the Senate on Thursday for the approval House Bill 1343, which makes it possible to raise the salary of prosecutors, district attorneys and assistant prosecutors, as well as prosecutors in the family and juvenile court systems, and property registrars.
The Senate on Wednesday endorsed the measure, authored by Méndez along with House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, and Reps. José Enrique “Quiquito” Meléndez Ortiz and Jesús Santa Rodríguez with a vote of 25 in favor and none against.
“This is a very important bill that does salary justice to our prosecutors and district attorneys,” Méndez said. “We thank the senators who voted for it yesterday. Since the measure was filed in the House of Representatives we have fought for its approval. Men and women serving as prosecutors deserve, like other public employees, an increase in their salaries.”
The bill, which now goes to La Fortaleza for the governor’s signature, amends Article 82 of the Law 205-2004 and Article 283 of Law 210-2015 in order to transfer to the Department of Justice the authority to conduct the review of compensation and salary scales for the aforementioned professionals.
The legislation also orders the adoption of five salary categories for such officials, in accordance with the uniform criteria laid down in the statute.
All reference to the judicial branch is deleted during the computation of the base salary applicable to the affected public servants to reconcile the doctrine of separation of powers, and the legislation puts in place a permanent prohibition to prevent the reduction of the basic salary established by law.
The salary compensation for prosecutors, as well as that of district attorneys, is established by law; however, the new Classification and Remuneration Plan does not contain provisions for trust employees as is the case with prosecutors and prosecutors.