Lawmakers split over plan to eliminate newspaper subscriptions

Lawmakers are upset about a plan to cut newspapers from the legislative assembly budget. Last year Juan Carlos Mendoza García, president of the Asamblea Legislativa, vowed to reduce the budget.

Legislative deputies receive daily national newspapers every morning, and now they will be faced to look up the information online, radio, television or to simply purchase the newspaper with their own money. This is one of many reforms that Mendoza wants to implement to reduce the budget.

But certain lawmakers are not seeing eye-to-eye with the president. Some referred to the initiative as a “violation and persecution of the press.” An upset representative Fabio Molina Rojas from the Partido Liberacion Nacional expressed his concern for the press and claimed that the initiative was an attempt to hide current events from legislative assembly members. Carlos Humberto Góngora of Movimiento Libertario
agreed with Molina by saying the budget cut of newspapers “revoked his right to access.”

There were other assembly members who expressed concern over the fact that some of their fellow lawmakers refused to accept a minor cut. Carmen María Muñoz Quesada of the Partido Acción Ciudadana was one of them. She said for the elder assembly members it might be a little harder to adapt to using the Internet but that the news online is more up-to-date than a newspaper anyway.

Another supporter of the initiative was Claudio Enrique Monge Pereira, also from Acción Ciudadana.

“The right to information is there . . . You should just buy your own newspaper,” said Monge.

He added that another initiative should be to stop providing glasses filled with water for the lawmakers during the public meetings, since most of the water is tossed into a toilet at the end of the session. Monge suggested for lawmakers to buy their own bottle of water or bring in their cup of water.

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