Legislators in Costa Rica will hold a final vote today on a measure to increase their own salaries by 60 percent. Debate on the bill, which passed a preliminary vote, 35-20, on Monday, has taken up much of the lawmakers’ attention since the start of the current session of Congress on May 1, with the center-left Partido Acción Ciudadana leading the opposition.
President Laura Chinchilla has threatened a veto of the bill if it adds to the government budget, even though it has the support of all but two legislators in her own party, the Partido Liberación Nacional. “My position has not changed,” President Chinchilla said through a spokesperson on Tuesday. “I will veto this law if clear guarantees are not made to the Executive and to the country that it does not create any new costs.” The government’s fiscal deficit is at 5 percent of GDP, and President Chinchilla has already pledged to increase spending in other areas, including security and infrastructure.
If the law is passed, it will go before the Supreme Court for review, which could take up to a month, according to AFP.