Minister Kassio Nunes Marques, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), authorized the government of Minas Gerais to adhere to the Fiscal Recovery Regime (RRF) even without the approval of the Legislative Assembly. The decision was published this Friday (7/1). The plan is seen by Romeu Zema’s team (Novo) as essential to renegotiate the state’s debt with the Union – the debt exceeds R$ 140 billion. In practice, Nunes Marques’ order allows Minas to proceed with the formalities to join the RRF, a program subordinated to the federal government. The idea was presented to state deputies at the beginning of the current state administration, in 2019, but it did not advance in the Legislative bodies because of the discomfort of parliamentarians with demands for debt refinancing. There are fears of freezing the salaries of civil servants and disinvestment in public policies.
The absence of consensus on the subject in the Assembly made, in February, the State Attorney General’s Office (AGE) call the Supreme Court to try to untangle the impasse.
In his preliminary injunction, Nunes Marques says that the decision to “enable the State of Minas Gerais, if still convenient, to proceed with the adoption of legal and administrative measures, with a view to formalizing a request for adhesion to the RRF, whose approval or rejection derives from the competence of the Ministry of Economy”.
The magistrate also points out “legislative omission” by not issuing an opinion regarding the Tax Recovery. According to him, the so-called “omission” of the Parliament has “made the relationship between the two powers unfeasible”.
Three days ago, Lus Roberto Barroso, also a member of the STF, issued a precautionary measure that obliges Minas Gerais to execute the compensation imposed by the Tax Recovery. The plan prevents, for example, public competitions without the need to fill vacant positions. The creation of new mandatory expenses that need to be carried out for at least two years is also prohibited, as is the reduction of tax rates.
There are also topics such as what denies the contracting of advertising services if the objective is not to publicize actions related to areas of public utility, such as health, education and safety.
Since the beginning of this week, the 77 Minas Gerais state deputies have not been able to vote on projects in plenary because, precisely, of the Fiscal Recovery. The economic package has been processed on an urgent basis since May and, therefore, has had its assessment deadlines reduced. Time, however, ran out. So, the topic became locked in the analysis agenda followed by parliamentarians.
The installments of the public debt contracted with the Union are not being paid because of an injunction obtained by the legal team of former governor Fernando Pimentel (PT). Last October, however, Barroso gave Minas six months to join the RRF – under penalty of revoking the injunction.
Among Zema’s team and members of the Assembly in favor of the Fiscal Recovery, there was fear of the injunction being annulled. Palcio Tiradentes even calculated that it would have to disburse R$ 4.8 billion by December in the event of a failure of the mechanism.
O State of Mines sought out the Legislative Assembly and the President of the House, Agostinho Patrus (PSD), to pass on the text by Nunes Marques. The state government was also called in to explain the implications of the decision. If there is a response, this text will be updated.
“Standing in the jurisprudence of this Court, here is the technique of judicial intervention in contexts of democratic dysfunction: to promote institutional unblocking and the movement of political gears, pacifying conflicts, through effective incentives for political actors to adhere dialogically to their formerly neglected constitutional competences” , wrote the minister, in another part of his decision.