A joint resolution urging Congress to support statehood for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford), was introduced into the Vermont House today.
The resolution was referred to the House Government Operations Committee – chaired by Copeland-Hanzas.
The resolution finds that in 1917, the Jones–Shafroth Act granted Puerto Ricans U.S.
citizenship, but unless they move to the mainland they are unable to vote in U.S. presidential elections. Representation of its 3 million residents is limited to a non-voting ‘resident commissioner’ in the U.S. House, with no representation in the Senate.
“Puerto Ricans’ dissatisfaction with the federal response to the massive devastation and approximately 3,000 deaths resulting from Hurricane Maria in 2017 and the still-unsettled bankruptcy of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority have intensified the debate surrounding possible statehood,” the resolution says.
Service animal stipend proposed
A bill introduced Tuesday into the Vermont House would provide a stipend for the care of service animals.
H450 would provide monthly stipends to eligible individuals who use a guide, signal, or service animal to assist with the individual’s disability-related needs. An eligible individual shall use the stipend to offset the costs of the animal’s food, grooming, and health care. No specific amount of stipend, or its funding source, is proposed.
The sponsors are Burlington lawmakers Carol Ode, Robert Hooper and Emma Mulvaney-Stanak. The bill was entered “by request” of a constituent, and has been referred to the House Human Services Committee.
Photo credit PR51st.com