Governor Pedro Pierluisi this Sunday asked the new leadership of the legislature in Washington to approve a series of measures to improve the welfare of the island’s residents and ensure treatment similar to that of other states.

The petitions range from getting exemptions from the Jones Act for the transportation of fuel to the island in emergency situations, to giving Puerto Rico citizens access to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and to restoring the political status project.

This was announced by the CEO in a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, among others.

“Before the start of the 118th Congress, I look forward to working with you in key areas to strengthen Puerto Rico’s economy for the benefit of the 3.2 million American citizens who live on our island,” Pierluisi said.

Regarding status, Pierluisi demanded that the new Congress concede what was proposed in Cameral Bill 8393, which called for a plebiscite on the island to decide between joining the US, independence, or free association.

“Puerto Rico has suffered from 125 years of inequality (…) It will continue to have obstacles along the way until the dilemma of our status is resolved once and for all,” the governor of this Commonwealth condemned the United States.

Another requested measure is the transition from the Food Assistance Program (PAN) to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The governor explained that low-income Puerto Rican families lost access to SNAP more than 40 years ago and that since then, the island has received block grants through PAN that do not cover the nutritional needs of those participating in the program.

On health care issues, he called for a review of the way Medicare Advantage rates are set and the treatment the island receives regarding Medicare savings programs.

“Medicare Advantage formulas show that Puerto Rico is 42 percent below the national average and 37 percent below the lowest state rate in Hawaii,” he explained.

He also called for increased security resources to combat drug trafficking, adjustments to federal contributions to the Earned Income Tax Credit, and a full retroactive refund of the rum tax.

“I ask for your cooperation and support in these congressional initiatives, which are essential to Puerto Rico’s continued path of progress and economic recovery,” the governor said.