By James Blears
Puerto Rico's Governor Wanda Vazquez announced that there will be a non binding single question Referendum during the November 3rd General Elections, asking if it should become a State of the United States of America. At present Puerto Rico is a US Territory. If the vote was YES, then it would be up to the US Congress to decide. Statehood would mean two Senators and five members of the House of Representatives for Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are already US Citizens, but can't vote in Presidential Elections, and the Island receives less US funding than a fully fledged State. Full Statehood would mean significantly more US Federal funds for capital works projects and disasters, which Puerto Rico has recently suffered including earthquakes and hurricanes. Then there's the Covid 19 Pandemic.
In a 2017 Referendum, more than half a million Puerto Ricans voted for US Statehood. Governor Wanda Vazquez says: "It's never too be late to be treated as equals."