Thoughts on Statehood for Puerto Rico

I’ve done a post over at And So it Goes in Shreveport on the issue of statehood for Puerto Rico.  There are both pros and cons and there is an important vote on the issue in the House this week on H.R.  2499.

One piece of legislation that is garnering interest  is H.R. 2499, The Puerto Rico Democracy Act, introduced in May 2009 by Pedro Pierluisi (D.-Puerto Rico) and coming up for a vote before the House of Representatives next week.

The bill basically gives Puerto Ricans the chance to vote between retaining their current status or choosing a new status, to include Statehood.  The text of the bill can be found here.

One issue seems to be the poor economic baggage that the island would bring.   Another problem is that the vote in Puerto Rico will be via plebiscite rather than giving a true choice to voters.  The wording on the ballot is likely to be in such a way that voters will have no choice but to choose statehood when many Puerto Ricans would prefer “enhanced Commonwealth” status.