The Office of Court Administration (OAT) has not yet requested the Fiscal Oversight Board (JSF) to reschedule the $11.2 million included in the government’s budget for fiscal year 2023-2024, destined for the implementation of the salary increase for the country’s judges.
“The sentence that was issued last Friday has not yet been discussed with that entity. That matter and other topics of interest to our staff and court administration will be discussed with the Board at an upcoming meeting.“, expressed the Judiciary in written statements sent to The new day.
Immediately, it was not specified when the meeting with the fiscal entity will be.
This Sunday, Juan Carlos Blancoexecutive director of the Office of Management and Budget (OGP), the entity that keeps the funds in its custody, said that the OAT is the entity that has to request the redistribution of the money to its accounts.
Last week, the judge Anthony Cuevasof the Court of First Instance of San Juan, ordered the entry into force of the salary increase for the togados – which range between $22,164 and $29,556 annually- and ordered the government to take the necessary steps to begin paying the increases, retroactive to July 1.
Cuevas’ determination responded to two lawsuits filed, separately, by the Puerto Rican Association of the Judiciary and the judge of the Court of Appeals, Ricardo Marrero Guerrerodemanding the implementation of the salary increase.
The plaintiffs alleged that the Legislature endorsed the wage increase by approving the joint budget resolution for fiscal year 2023-2024, which allocated $11.2 million to grant the increases. Therefore, the approval of a subsequent piece of legislation was not necessary to implement the increase.
The House unsuccessfully requested the dismissal of the lawsuit and stressed that the Constitution establishes that the salaries of the governor, legislators, heads of agencies and judges, due to the nature of their positions, must be established through special legislation.
Yesterday, the president of the House of Representatives, Rafael “Tatito” Hernandezdid not anticipate whether he will appeal to the judicial determination. “We will not advance our next steps or legal strategies, and we will be vigilant in the budget process and administrative processes to implement the increase for these public employees. and, above all, that the doctrine of separation of powers provided in our Magna Carta be protected,” indicated the legislative leader.