SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico's governor has unveiled a stark budget that sets aside more than $200 million for a critical bond payment as the U.S. territory sinks into a deep economic crisis.
The proposed $9.1 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year is $700 million smaller than the current one and calls for nearly $3 billion in cuts to government operating expenses.
Legislators have to approve a budget by July 1, the day a $2 billion debt payment is due. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Monday that he set aside $209 million to help pay interest linked to that debt.
Puerto Rico is smothered by $70 billion in public debt that Garcia has said is unpayable. A U.S. House bill seeks to create a federal control board and allow for some restructuring.