Senator proposes reducing lawmaker’s salaries
By John McPhaul
Sen. Javier Aponte Dalmau proposed reducing lawmakers’ salaries from $74,000 to $30,000 and limiting the length of a second legislative session.
“With these initiatives, we seek to increase the representativeness of the citizen by creating a true citizen legislator who fulfills a legislative task and is integrated into the daily reality of Puerto Ricans,” Aponte Dalmau said in written statement.
“It is not justified to maintain the current order that facilitates the creation of the profession of legislator. He will be fairly and reasonably compensated for his legislative service, but any additional income must be earned in private enterprise like any other citizen,” said Aponte Dalmau.
Aponte Dalmau presented Senate Resolution 843 to establish a Special Commission that will analyze proposals to improve the Legislative Assembly. In addition, he introduced Senate Bill 1353, which suggests a new compensation model for Assembly members, allowing them to receive income from private enterprise with ethical controls. He also introduced Senate Bill 1351, which seeks to limit the length of a second legislative session to just a few weeks.
Ramón Pérez Blanco, president of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, supported the proposal and highlighted the opportunity to attract experienced professionals for part-time public service.
For his part, agronomist Jorge Ramírez, president of the Hecho en Puerto Rico Association, welcomed the initiative and stressed the need to evolve towards more agile and efficient models.
Various business associations, such as the Association of Industrialists and ASORE, also supported the measure. Former Senator Eudaldo Báez Galib emphasized the need to transform the legislative body and temper it to the current reality.
“The time has come to review the effectiveness and wisdom of the current operational scheme of the Legislative Branch,” concluded Aponte Dalmau.