Puerto Rico statehood, service animal stipend introduced

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

Categories: Legislation

6 replies »

  1. Puerto Rica? I struggle understanding what’s going on. There’s so many things that we need to be paying attention to and taking care of but yet we’re doing this? It’s another example of how legislature needs to stop wasting time with things that are nice to look at on the outside but results in nothing to help the State of Vermont. This is a federal issue. I don’t mind this kind of legislation the first three or four weeks of the season but this part of the season? You need to be wrapping up and getting out of there and saving taxpayers money. Have to get ready for all those new committees you guys have formed. Wasteful

  2. Back in my time with the U.S. Navy, I was stationed on PR for 3 years during the Cuban missile crises. I know the Island nation and its people well. Most do NOT want their homeland to become a US state. What, and have to pay federal income tax?? These idiots promoting a joint resolution don’t know what they’re doing! .

  3. My family was closely involved with Puerto Rico from 1949-1960 when Gov Munoz introduced Operation Boot Strap. One thing still the same is the island balance of population 1/3 independent, 1/3 status quo and 1/3 statehood. Existing Commonwealth shelters island from US tax and gives all benefits of US programs. Truman offered the island any status it wanted. At that time they chose the status quo.

  4. This Biennium’s group of legislators seems to have taken up the challenge of finding the most ridiculous legislation and proclamations possible. As an assembly of supposed “best and brightest”, the legislature has zero credibility in representing their constituents as required by the Vermont Constitution. The members have proven their incompetence by failing to tackle the pension funding crisis, addressing spending and a litany of important issues. Instead there is a need to proclaim statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington DC?

  5. Statehood for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico is irrelevant to Vermont, except as it works to solidify and extend Democratic control over the U.S. Congress. The DNC is anxious to lock in their majority control over congress for the foreseeable future. No doubt Rep Welsh, Sen Leahy and Sen Sanders are enthusiastically in favor of statehood for these 2 regions, as it will be good for their powerbase, but will have no benefit to Vermonters. Vermont State Democratic office holders are merely agreeing with the national office holders, as they all continue to their move to the Left.