ventimil-colonesQCOSTARICA – The Fiscal Affairs Committee of the Legislative Assembly passed out a second Extraordinary Budget cutting ¢62 billion colones from the bloated budget it approved last November.

The 2015 budget was a record ¢7.9 trillion colones, heavily lobbied by President Solis but opposed by a majority of the congress.

The problem was that everyone seemed to have a plan to cut the budget but each one was different. The Nov. 30 deadline to approve the budget was almost passed when congressional president Henry Mora pulled a political maneuver of doubtful constitutionality out of the hat and declared the budget approved.

Committee chairman Otto Solis, who opposed his own ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC) and President Solis last year in proposing massive cuts, finally got his way. Now, lawmaker Solis and his colleagues who successfully pushed these cut through will have to battle Mora and other Presidential loyalists to get the cuts passed.

Lawmaker Solis explained that the cuts were mainly in two areas. One was to eliminate a 40 billion colon payment of a supposed debt to Banco Nacional. The second major reduction was 6.4 billion in the budget for the Administration spending, one which the President is certain to oppose.

Two Broad Front lawmakers, Gerardo Vargas and Jose Ramirez, opposed some cuts which they deemed were to social improvement programs. The other committee members overruled them. The measure now goes to the congressional floor where it will face a real tussle.

“I’m 100% in agreement,” exulted lawmaker Solis, “It’s a shame it isn’t the 300 billion I proposed (last November) but this is going in the right direction. I believe it’s positive.” Solis is a PAC founder who broke with his fellow PAC members on this issue and Broad Front will vote with the President but the rest is up for grabs.

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