Speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico

The President of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico —commonly called the Speaker of the House (Spanish: Presidente de la Cámara de Representantes)— is the highest-ranking officer and the presiding officer of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. The Speaker has voting powers as it is elected amongst the own members of the House as established by Article III of the Constitution of Puerto Rico. The Constitution, however, does not establish its functions and since the House is the only body authorized by the Constitution to regulate its own internal affairs, the functions of the Speaker vary from session to session—save being called "Speaker" as the Constitution establishes.[1] The Speaker is typically elected during the House inaugural session.[2]

Speaker of the
House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
Tatito Hernandez
since January 2, 2021
StyleThe Honorable
Mister Speaker
when presiding over the House
Nominatornominated internally by the House
Appointerelected internally by the House
Term length4 years
Inaugural holderManuel F. Rossy
FormationForaker Act
Jones–Shafroth Act
Article III of the Constitution of Puerto Rico
DeputySpeaker pro tempore

When absent, the Speaker is substituted by the Speaker pro tempore.[2] Its counterpart in the Senate is the President of the Senate.

The current Speaker is Tatito Hernandez, representative at-large from the Popular Democratic Party

Background edit

The Speaker traces its history back to more than 123 years ago when the Foraker Act formally established the post on April 12, 1900. Several laws eventually superseded said act, and the post was eventually established by the Constitution of Puerto Rico, specifically Article III, which establishes that, "[...]the House of Representatives [shall elect] a Speaker from among [its] members." The Constitution, however, does not establish what a "Speaker" is nor what its function should be.[1] Internal rules adopted by the House through a simple resolution establish its definition, functions, responsibilities, and legal scope.[2]

Functions edit

Typically the Speaker is responsible for the observance and compliance of the House internal rules. He also typically:[2]

  • presides all joint commissions,
  • resolves and decides all parliamentary situations and rules of order brought in sessions,
  • names all permanent and special commissions of the House, as well as being a member ex officio of each one,
  • signs all bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, reorganization plans, and simple resolutions approved by the House and the Legislative Assembly,
  • convenes special sessions of the House,
  • maintains order and decorum in the House, a responsibility typically delegated to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House,
  • must vote in all matters presented in the House (can not abstain),
  • represents the House in all forums,
  • is responsible for all administrative matters of the House, a responsibility typically delegated to the Secretary of the House,
  • prepares an annual and monthly report detailing all work done by the House,
  • appoints an internal auditor for the House,
  • prepares the budget of the House,
  • prepares a registry of all lobbyists that must be freely available to the public,
  • is responsible of providing free access to the public to all works generated by the House, and
  • offers training and continuing education opportunities to House members, advisors, and employees.

Speakers edit

  Republican Party    Union Party    New Progressive Party    Popular Democratic Party
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Party Speaker pro tempore
1 Manuel F. Rossy Calderón December 3, 1900 December 31, 1904 Republican
2   Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón January 10, 1905 December 31, 1906 Union
3 Francisco P. Acuña y Paniagua January 14, 1907 March 6, 1907 Union
4   José de Diego Martínez March 6, 1907 July 16, 1918 Union Juan Bernardo Huyke
5 Juan Bernardo Huyke November 26, 1918 December 31, 1920 Union Miguel Guerra Mondragón
6   Cayetano Coll y Cuchí February 14, 1921 February 11, 1923 Union Alfonso Lastra Chárriez
7 Miguel Guerra Mondragrón February 12, 1923 December 31, 1924 Union Alfonso Lastra Chárriez
8 José Tous Soto February 9, 1925 February 18, 1930 Republican Miguel Guerra Modragón

Benigno Fernández García
9 Manuel F. Rossy Calderón February 20, 1930 August 6, 1932 Republican Enrique Landrón Otero

Rafael Alonso Torres
10 Rafael Alonso Torres October 18, 1932 December 31, 1932 Socialist Jorge Romaní
11 Miguel A. García Méndez February 13, 1933 December 31, 1940 Republican Rafael Alonso Torres
12   Samuel R. Quiñones Quiñones February 12, 1941 March 5, 1943 PPD Luis Sánchez Frasqueri
13 Rafael Arrillaga Torrens March 5, 1943 February 24, 1944 Socialist Julio Reguero González
14 Rafael Rodríguez Pacheco February 24, 1944 December 31, 1944 Republican Julio Reguero González
15 María L. Gómez Garriga January 11, 1945 February 12, 1945 PPD Guillermo Alicea Campos
16 Francisco M. Susoni Abreu February 12, 1945 June 5, 1948 PPD Ernesto Ramos Antonini
17 Ernesto Ramos Antonini June 22, 1948 January 9, 1963 PPD Benjamín Ortiz Ortiz

María L. Gómez Garriga

Jorge Font Saldaña
18   Santiago Polanco Abreu January 14, 1963 December 31, 1964 PPD Benjamín Ortiz Ortiz
19 Arcilio Alvarado Alvarado January 11, 1965 December 31, 1968 PPD Aguedo Mojica
20 Angel Viera Martínez January 13, 1969 December 31, 1972 PNP Rubén Otero Bosco

José E. Salichs Lope de Haro
21   Luis E. Ramos Yordán January 8, 1973 December 31, 1976 PPD Severo Colberg Ramírez
22 Angel Viera Martínez January 10, 1977 January 28, 1982 PNP José N. Granados Navedos
1977 – 1978

José E. Salichs Lope de Haro
1978 – December 31, 1980

Severo Colberg Ramírez
1981 – 1982
23 Severo Colberg Ramírez January 28, 1982 December 31, 1984 PPD Presby Santiago García
24 José R. Jarabo Alvarez January 14, 1985 December 31, 1992 PPD Samuel Ramírez Torres
25 Zaida R. Hernández Torres January 11, 1993 December 31, 1996 PNP Edison Misla Aldarondo
26 Edison Misla Aldarondo January 13, 1997 December 31, 2000 PNP José N. Granados Navedos
January 1997 – June 30, 1999

Edwin Mundo Ríos
June 30, 1999 – December 31, 2000
27 Carlos Vizcarrondo Irizarry January 8, 2001 December 31, 2004 PPD Ferdinand Pérez Román
28   José F. Aponte Hernández January 10, 2005 December 31, 2008 PNP Epifanio Jiménez
29   Jenniffer A. González Colón January 12, 2009 December 31, 2012 PNP Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló
30   Jaime Perelló January 14, 2013 August 29, 2016 PPD Roberto Rivera
31 Carlos Johnny Méndez January 9, 2017 December 31, 2020 PNP José Torres Zamora
32 Rafael Hernández Montañez January 11, 2021 present PPD José "Conny" Varela

Speakers pro tempore edit

The Vice President of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (commonly called the Speaker pro tempore) is the second highest-ranking officer of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. The Speaker pro tempore substitutes the Speaker of the House in his absence. The Speaker pro tempore has a counterpart in the Senate by the President pro tempore of the Senate.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Article III, Section 9". Constitution of Puerto Rico. July 25, 1952. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d R. de la C. 126 del 2013, "Reglamento de la Cámara de Representantes del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish) House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (January 15, 2013). Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  3. ^ Reconocen a 22 ‘Ponceños Ilustres’. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  4. ^ Reconocen a 22 ‘Ponceños Ilustres’. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.