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Puerto Rico's board approves budget as legislators quarrel

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Danica Coto

Puerto Rico, San Juan (AP) — The Federal Press, which oversees the Puerto Rico government's finances, approved the US $ 12.4 billion budget on Thursday. did. The territory after the legislator did not approve one in a fierce debate.

Last month, the board's budget was rejected by Governor Pedropiel Luigi for cutting government spending by $ 100 million. He said the legislature would submit its own version at the time, but the island's Senate and House presidents clashed and did not approve anything by the July 1 deadline.

"It's a shame that the legislative process related to the central government's budget was very controversial and took too long," Pierluisi said in a statement.

He said parliamentarians wereted the opportunity to include something useful to Puerto Ricans, and the board includes some of the public policies he claimed, but "certainly. Other important things are missing. "

The House of Representatives on the island was scheduled to meet Thursday night to approve another version of the budget, but the board has already approved that version.

The Board has stated that the $ 12.4 billion general funding budget includes $ 5.5 billion for public health, $ 4.6 billion for education, and "protecting future government pensions from economic uncertainty. To do so, "said $ 1.3 billion.

Budget is the largest in history after the Puerto Rican government declared in 2015 that it could not pay more than $ 70 billion in public debt accumulated over decades. Brought to you when you're out of bankruptcy of a US municipality. Mismanagement, bankruptcy, excessive borrowing. There were also over $ 50 billion in public pension debt.

The Puerto Rican government filed for bankruptcy in 2017, a year after Congress created a territorial financial oversight and control committee.

Board Chairman David Skel said the certified budget is more than $ 170 million for housing and 100 million for public works to help revitalize the island's economy. He said he would secure more than $ 700 million in capital spending, including more than $ 50 million.

"After many years of deficits that have resulted in inadequate funding for critical services, Puerto Rico now offers significant investments to improve the quality of life of Puerto Rico's residents and businesses. You can, "he said.

The island seeks to recover from the fatal hurricanes and earthquakes of recent years, as well as the protracted economic crisis that has exacerbated during the pandemic.