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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senate president highlights upper chamber’s work in ’22

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago

By The Star Staff

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago on Thursday highlighted the past year’s legislative work, with over 50 bills converted into law, which he said will benefit citizens in different areas such as justice, education and health.

Among the measures enacted on the subject of justice is Senate Bill (SB) 771, converted into Law 76-2022. The bill amends the “Penal Code of Puerto Rico” in order to make mandatory the imposition of the penalty of restitution in cases of crimes against the treasury, clarifying that it will apply to the present and future assets of the convict.

The legislation was filed by Dalmau Santiago and Sens. Juan Zaragoza Gómez, Ramón Ruíz Nieves, Migdalia González and Joanne Rodríguez Veve.

“This action highlights the interest of this Legislative Assembly in building a rule of law where the person with access to public funds is charged with the highest degree of responsibility and cleanliness in his administration,” the measure cites.

Meanwhile, SB 437, a bipartisan measure filed by Popular Democratic Party Sen. Gretchen Hau and Rodríguez Veve of the Dignity Project, was converted into Law 85-2022. The measure amends the “Penal Code of Puerto Rico” to establish the terms for qualification for consideration by the Parole Board. The bill complies with the public policy of rehabilitation without ignoring the responsibility of the person to the state for their criminal actions.

In addition, SB 459, now Law 91-2022, establishes the “Law to Create a Base Salary for Correctional Officers.” The measure, authored by Ruíz Nieves, establishes a base salary for correctional officers of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and the Youth Institutions Program of $2,350 per month.

In the educational sphere, meanwhile, SB 477 was converted into Law 2-2022 to amend the “Law on the Extension of Appointments to Teachers with Provisional Temporary Status in Categories of Difficult Recruitment Under the Assistant Secretary of Occupational and Technical Education of the Department of Education.” With the law, whose bill was filed by Dalmau Santiago, the teachers included in Article 4 are to have their appointment extended for a period of three years.

Similarly, SB 573, now Law 9-2022, was filed in a bipartisan manner by Sens. Ada García Montes, Rafael Bernabe Riefkohl and Zaragoza Gómez to amend ordering the Department of Education and the Office of Management and Budget to identify the amount of $4.37 billion in the agency’s budget to cover on or before the end of fiscal year 2022-2023 the payments due for the period preceding the fiscal year 2014-2015 pursuant to Act No. 158 of July 18, 1999, as amended, known as the “Teaching Career Act.”

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