Part Of Puerto Rico’s $72B Public Debt May Be Unconstitutional, New Report Says

Part Of Puerto Rico’s $72B Public Debt May Be Unconstitutional, New Report Says

New York – Members of VAMOS4PR, a network of stateside organizations and individuals taking a stand for a fair economy for all Puerto Ricans, will release the results of a report by Puerto Rico’s Debt Audit Commission, which is in the process of preparing a complete audit of the island’s $72 billion public debt. The report is scheduled to be released the same day in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by the Commission, which was appointed by Puerto Rico’s legislature. VAMOS4PR believes that a complete audit of the debt will provide an essential baseline to developing measures that can best address the island’s immediate humanitarian crisis and its long-term economic health. The group also believes that the report results should influence how the federal government approaches legislative proposals for Puerto Rico to restructure its debt.

 

What: Members of VAMOS4PR coalition announce results from pre-audit survey report by the Puerto Rico Debt audit commission on whether Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt meets legal and constitutional rules.

 

Who:  John Santos, Vice-President, SEIU 32BJ
Natasha Bannan, Associate Counsel, Latino Justice PRLDEF
Other members of VAMOS4PR coalition, including those affected by the debt crisis

 

When: Thursday, June 2, 2016, 2 pm

 

Where: Latino Justice PRLDEF, 99 Hudson St, #14, New York, NY 10013

 

Why: Puerto Rico’s Legislature passed in July 2015 a law establishing the Commission for the Comprehensive Audit of the Public Debt. The 17-member Committee, representing elected officials, representatives of financial institutions, credit unions, academics, and organized labor, has begun examining public debt incurred by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from 1972 to the present to determine to what extent the debt conforms to constitutional and legal norms.

 

The Committee’s determination could affect proposals to restructure the public debt, including the current PROMESA bill, which was last week approved by the House Natural Resources Committee and is headed for a full House vote within the next few weeks. VAMOS4PR opposed this Congressional legislation because it contains several measures that protect the interests of Puerto Rican working people. Our VAMOS4PR network believes that this survey report will help to make the case that the federal government should not rush into legislation that could lock the island into a devastating repayment plan.

 

A complete audit of the debt is part of the baseline principles of VAMOS4PR’s work, which includes seeking to secure a restructure of Puerto Rico’s public debt, protecting and expanding workers’ rights in the island, advancing development proposals that sustain its economy in the long term, and educating and mobilizing the Puerto Rican diaspora and its allies.

 

VAMOS4PR is a group of labor, community, cultural and human rights organizations and individuals who live and work stateside and support a fair economic future for Puerto Rico.

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