Puerto Rico’s House Monday is set to vote on a public-private partnership measure after committee members yesterday passed the legislation.
The House Economic Development Committee approved the bill with an amendment that would increase ethical standards for a new five-member authority charged with overseeing P3 developments, according to Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Mendez, who chairs the committee.
“It’s just adding more transparency to the work that the authority is going to do,” Mendez said.
The lower chamber anticipated voting on the legislation this week, but the P3 measure needed to pass through Mendez’s committee before reaching the House floor.
The Senate will need to weigh in on the House amendment since it approved the P3 legislation on May 11, after nearly two months of debate within the New Progressive Party, which controls both the House and the Senate.
Sen. Norma Burgos, who chairs the Senate Economic Development Committee, said via e-mail that she has not been briefed on any potential House amendments. In addition, Burgos said the Senate bill already addressed ethical issues related to P3s. Mendez and Burgos are both NPP members.
The P3 bill is part of Gov. Luis Fortuño’s economic recovery plan for Puerto Rico. The administration has identified 25 P3 developments that would help improve infrastructure on the island through the use of private capital.
Designated projects include clean water and sewer upgrades, renewable energy plans, highway expansions, light-rail developments, and port upgrades and expansions.