The budget that the board submitted to legislators on Wednesday would have been the first balanced one since Puerto Rico filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history after announcing in 2015 that it was unable to pay its more than $70 billion public debt load. The debt was accumulated through decades of mismanagement, corruption and excessive borrowing.
The board noted that its proposed budget dedicates almost 70% of revenue to education, public safety, health, pensions and economic development. It also contains pay increases for public workers that have long demanded them.
“The budget is consistent with Puerto Rico’s path to fiscal responsibility and provides the government with the stability that is critical in this time of global economic uncertainty,” said board chairman David Skeel.
The board has stressed that it will remain in place by law until four consecutive budgets are approved.