The House of Representatives approved this afternoon, Tuesday, with amendments, Senate Bill 1292, which grants judges – retroactive to July 1 – salary increases ranging between $22,164 and $29,556 annually.
The measure received the vote against the spokesperson of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), Denis Marquez Lebron. Meanwhile, the representatives of the Citizen Victory Movement (MVC), Mariana Nogales Molinelli and Jose “Betito” Marquezjust as I penetrated her Wanda del Valle and the spokesperson for Proyecto Dignidad, Lisie Burgosthey abstained.
After the session, the president of the House, Rafael “Tatito” Hernandezreaffirmed that the commitment of said body was to approve the measure with amendments and create a conference committee to resolve the differences with the proposal endorsed by the Senate last week.
“We keep our word. From day one, we stated that we would approve the measure as soon as it came to us and we would force a conference committee to come to the table,” Hernandez noted.
Senate Bill 1292 – addressed by discharge, that is, without holding public hearings – proposes raising the annual salary of the chief justice of the Supreme Court from $125,000 to $154,556. Meanwhile, associate judges of the highest judicial forum would see an increase of $24,480, which would bring their annual salary to $144,480.
In the case of Court of Appeals judges, the increase would be from $105,000 to $130,579 annually, and senior judges of the Court of First Instance would earn $118,133 per year, $28,533 more than they currently receive. At the municipal level, judges would see an adjustment of $22,164, raising their annual salary to $91,764.
Hernandez acknowledged that There is resistance among some members of the Popular Democratic Party delegation (PPD) to endorse the proposal, but did not elaborate on what the objections consist of, because, although the issue was addressed during a caucus held earlier today, “there has not been in-depth dialogue”.
“There are differences heavy (big). “I’m probably going to caucus outside of here (Capitol),” he indicated.
The new day learned that some legislators expressed concerns with the validity of the effectiveness, as well as with the “disproportionality” of the increases granted. Judiciary workers have expressed dissatisfaction with the salary adjustments received through the Classification and Remuneration Plan, which came into effect in August.
After approval of the measure with amendments, it is up to each chamber to create a team for the conference committee and address any objections. Once an agreement is reached, the measure would have to be put to a vote again. Hernandez anticipated that he will coordinate a meeting with the president of the Senate and author of the measure, Jose Luis Dalmauto set an approval deadline.
“I think there must be an adjustment to reality so we can be more competitive”Hernandez said.
They discuss super PACs
Another issue that was addressed during today’s caucus was the proposal presented by the electoral comptroller, Walter Velezrequesting new controls on Law 222 on Political Campaign Financing, in order to prevent the campaigns of independent expenditure committees – known in English as super PACs – from being influenced by candidates or parties.
The proposed adjustments, however, also received resistance from members of the popular caucus, who asked the representative Jose “Conny” Varelawho is in charge of evaluating the measure, substantial changes to the document.
“The design to, in some way, catch money cash, “It does not allow those who come from the community, those who do activities in ball parks, to be able to compete on equal terms.”argued Hernandez.
“We want to approve something that is fair,” said the chamber leader.