By THE STAR STAFF
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón said she will be meeting with U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) to discuss the Puerto Rico status bill approved by the lower chamber of Congress.
The House of Representatives voted in December in favor of the Puerto Rico Status Act, House Bill 8393, which seeks to resolve the U.S. territory’s status and its relationship with the United States through a binding plebiscite. The referendum would include non-territorial statuses such as statehood, independence and sovereignty in free association with the U.S. In addition, the legislation calls for a transition to and implementation of the new political status.
The legislation needs approval in the Senate.
“The same measure should be introduced early in the session for a public hearing process to begin, which was one of the elements that some used to vote against [the bill in the House],” the resident commissioner said “Then, once we have that, the process begins.”
González Colón said she will have to seek both Republican and Democratic votes.
“We are going to start with the process of public hearings, which is the most important process so that all those doubts that people have or that have been raised can be clarified,” she said. “In the process, the worst criticism that the minority had was [regarding] the hearing process; if we deal with that early, we have these two years to be able to work on it.”