Puerto Rican Governor Approve June Referendum - State and Federal Communications

March 2, 2017  •  

Puerto Rican Governor Approve June Referendum

Flag_of_Puerto_RicoThis month, Gov. Ricardo Rosello approved a nonbinding referendum to determine whether Puerto Rico will continue free association or seek statehood or independence.

The referendum will be held on June 11, 2017, and will give voters the choice between statehood and independence/free association. Previous referendums and plebiscites have given independence and free association as separate options, but the upcoming referendum lumps them together.

If a majority chooses independence/free association, a second referendum will be held in October to determine the preference between those options. If the referendum passes in favor of statehood, Puerto Rico, currently facing $70 billion in public debt, would have access to more federal funding if ultimately approved by the U.S. Congress as the 51st state.

Currently, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in presidential elections and have limited representation in Congress.

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