It’s been a devastating and frustrating year for many Puerto Ricans. Irma and Maria caused billions in physical damage to Puerto Rico, but now the commonwealth faces a new threat: its legislature has again moved to dismantle the Puerto Rican Institute of Statistics (PRIS), a trusted, independent source of official data.
This move goes against recommendations of a bipartisan congressional Task Force on Puerto Rico, and simple common sense. Members of the legislature have through June 30 to improve this bill in conference, and conferees must act to preserve the independence and accuracy of statistical information that is crucial for the long-term recovery and economic development of Puerto Rico. If it respects the need for an independent and reliable source of essential data, the legislative conference committee should carve out Chapter XII—the PRIS section of the House bill—from the conference report or agree to postpone its consideration until the next session.This article was originally published in El Nuevo Día.