(Reuters) – The query of statehood for Puerto Rico could be put to voters of the U.S. commonwealth for a 3rd time since 2012 below laws launched in Congress on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: The flags of the U.S. and Puerto Rico fly outdoors the Capitol constructing in San Juan, Puerto Rico Might four, 2017. REUTERS/ Alvin Baez/File Photograph
Proponents of the invoice stated it will present the island with the identical path to statehood taken by Alaska and Hawaii, the final two states admitted to the union.
Below the laws, which has some bipartisan help, a federally approved referendum would seem on the Nov. three, 2020, poll in Puerto Rico. Approval by a majority of the island’s voters would result in a presidential proclamation inside 30 months making Puerto Rico the 51st state.
President Donald Trump has known as Puerto Rico “one of the corrupt locations on earth,” making the invoice’s future murky. The island’s non-voting congressional consultant, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, stated the measure has 45 sponsors.
The island remains to be making an attempt to get well from devastating hurricanes that hit in 2017, whereas it really works its approach by a chapter course of to restructure about $120 billion of debt and pension obligations.
Gonzalez-Colon stated the invoice offers political equality for Puerto Rico.
“The Americans of Puerto Rico may have the chance to take part in a federally-sponsored vote and be requested the next query: ‘Ought to Puerto Rico be admitted as a State of the Union, sure or no?’” she stated in an announcement. “That is much like what occurred in Alaska and Hawaii, which is what finally makes this laws totally different.”
In a non-binding 2017 referendum here 97% of the island’s voters favored statehood, though turnout was simply 23% as a result of a boycott in opposition to the vote.
In a 2012 vote, 61% of Puerto Ricans favored statehood over different options. Neither outcomes moved Congress to behave on statehood.
Puerto Rico, which has been ruled by the US since 1899, has suffered the results of unequal remedy below federal regulation in contrast with U.S. states, hindering the island’s growth and financial system, in response to the invoice.
Reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Modifying by Matthew Lewis