Today the Governor sent to the Legislature the “Law of Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Revitalization of Puerto Rico”. The Law creates a Fiscal Supervision and Economic Renewal Board“. You may ask what is the difference between this and the Federal Financial Control Board I have been advocating for some time. I will briefly try to explain it.
The Local Board has five (5) persons who will receive whatever compensation the Governor determines. The Control Board in Washington has 5 who serve without salary. In addition, Article 208 of the law gives powers to the Local Board that probably violate the Separation of Powers of the PR Constitution. This limitation would not exist with a Board like the one used in Washington since Congress has the power pursuant to the Territorial Clause of the Federal Constitution to “dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory”. And Federal law is the “Supreme law of the land” and can abrogate state or territorial statutes and constitutions.
Besides, since the Federal Board would not be tied to local parties or governor it can take those measures necessary to bring sound fiscal policy and make the difficult decisions that politicians do not want to take. If anyone thinks the Governor is not going to appoint those loyal to him and his party, I have a little bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you. Finally, the local board may be eliminated by the next government repealing the law, which creates it, but the Federal Board could only be eliminated by an Act of Congress. .
The Local Board law is nothing more than a Law 66 that creates a bureaucracy that will consume, at least, $12,000,000 a year to do what the Governor is supposed to do but is incapable of doing.