Governor of Puerto Rico justifies default, signs new budget

By Jennice Fuentes / Fuentes Strategies

Gobernador presupuesto 2014-2015Governor Alejandro García Padilla cited the newly released audited financial reports for the government’s finances (CAFR FY 2014) as justification for foregoing the payment of interest on bonds, contrary to his earlier pledges. The Governor said that even with a partial government shutdown, there would not be sufficient funding to pay the interest and keep essential services operating. The audited financial report was released more than 400 days after it was due and a few hours after the President signed the PROMESA legislation into law.

The Governor also signed a FY17 budget with a general fund total of $8.987 billion. However, given supplementary legislation also approved and signed into law, that figure could rise to $9.633 billion, according to former House Speaker, and current House Minority Leader and NPP Candidate for Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González. The supplemental measures in question include payments for police officers to participate in the Social Security program, additional pension payments, and legislative donations to Puerto Rican non-profit organizations that deliver services to needy populations.

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