"A Bill to provide a process leading to full self government for Puerto Rico"

The United States- Puerto Rico Political Status Act resolves Puerto Rico’s political status through a self-determination process for full self government. Puerto Rico is authorized to choose between three choices:

Commonwealth Separate Sovereignty Statehood

A Final status is attained in Ten or More years in Measured stages:

  • The Initial Decision Stage provides for a status referendum in Puerto Rico before the end of 1998 in which voters chose between:

    1. a Commonwealth structure for self government as a U.S. territory
    2. Separate sovereignty leading to independence or free association; or
    3. Statehood leading to equal standing as a state of the Union.

  • The Transition Stage begins with a majority vote for one of the status choices for full self-government (separate sovereignty or statehood) *. Within 180 days of the referendum, the President submits to Congress a Transition Plan of ten years minimum for the status selected by the Puerto Rican voters.

    Once the transition Plan is approved by Congress through expedited procedures, it is submitted to the voters of Puerto Rico for ratification. If approved. The transition period begins by Presidential orders. I f the plan is rejected, the president is directed to consult with leaders of Puerto and submit recommendations to Congress.

  • The Implementation Stage begins at least two years prior to the end of the Transition Plan. The President submits to Congress an Implementation Plan to fulfill the status choice of the people of Puerto Rico at least two years before the transition period expires.

    Once the Implementation Plan is approved by Congress through expedited procedures, it is submitted to the voters of Puerto Rico for ratification. If the plan is approved, the final status is implemented by Presidential proclamation, If implementation is defeated, the President submits recommendations to Congress after consultations with the leaders of Puerto Rico.

    No new Federal Funds are Required by Status Process

    Funding for the referenda and voter education is provided through cover-over of existing federal excise taxes on foreign rum which go to the Puerto Rico treasury. The necessary amounts for conducting the referenda and voter education are identified by the President and made available to Puerto Rico. The Government of Puerto Rico then makes grants in the amounts and purposes identified to the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico.

  • If a majority of the voters are not in favor of one of the options for full self-government (separate sovereignty or statehood) the same question is voted on once every four years. This allows the people of Puerto Rico to continue the existing Commonwealth structure for local self-government as an unincorporated territory, until a majority is ready and satisfied with the terms of full self-government. The periodic referenda requirement insures the integrity of the purpose of the bill " to provide a process to leading to full self-government for Puerto Rico"
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