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García-Padilla presents $9.8B budget for Fiscal ’16

Gov. García-Padilla presented the proposed Fiscal 2016 budget to the Legislature.

Gov. García-Padilla presented the proposed Fiscal 2016 budget to the Legislature.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla introduced Wednesday the measure paving the way for a $9.8 billion General Fund budget, and a $28.8 billion consolidated budget for Fiscal 2016.

The General Fund budget includes $4.2 billion for operational costs of central government agencies, the Legislative Assembly, the Judicial branch, and agencies with fiscal autonomy. It also includes $4 billion in special assignments, and $1.5 billion for debt service.

The proposed budget includes $674 million in cuts, including $126 million from central government agencies and $14 million from the operating budgets of the Legislative and Judicial branches, as well as autonomous entities.

The budget presented also calls for adjustments to several Government Development Bank debt obligations, which calls for a $327 million reduction. The Comprehensive Cancer Center will get $8 million less, the Integrated Transportation Authority would get $40 million less, the Central Government’s Retirement System would get $58 million less and there would be a $2.5 million reduction to allotments and per-diems made to political parties.

Other cutbacks include $3 million to pay off a debt with the Judicial Branch, $6.2 million to contributions to municipalities, and $10.7 million that were intended to settle a debt with the Teacher Retirement System, and other budget cuts totaling $23.6 million.

Next fiscal year’s budget also includes $400 million increase for debt repayment and $82 million for payments to Commonwealth retirement systems.

This Fiscal 2016 reduces professional service expenses by $75 million, which represents a decrease of $12 million compared with the previous fiscal year and $70 million (or 50 percent) compared to the Fiscal 2014 budget.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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