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S. 865: Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 18, 2021.

Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021

This bill establishes a process for the people of Puerto Rico to vote on the political status (e.g., statehood) of the territory. Congress may ratify the decision through a joint resolution.

The bill declares that the legislature of Puerto Rico has the authority to call a status convention regarding the political status of the territory.

The bill provides for public financing of delegate elections to the status convention and establishes a Congressional Bilateral Negotiating Commission to provide advice and consultation to delegates of the status convention.

The status convention must provide self-determination options for a referendum of the people of Puerto Rico. Ranked-choice voting is a permitted format for the referendum. Delegates shall carry out an educational campaign through traditional paid media related to the referendum.

The bill provides for congressional consideration of a joint resolution to ratify the self-determination option selected through the referendum.