Puerto Rico's municipal governments to start sharing services to cut costs

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Puerto Rico's governor has signed a bill letting the island's 78 municipal governments share administrative services as a cost-saving measure amid a deep fiscal crisis.

The measure amends a 1991 law to let local governments set up agreements between two or more municipalities to cooperate on finance, public works and other areas, instead of each town having a department for each service.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said late Friday that it is expected to result in substantial savings.

About $2 billion is spent each year to run the U.S. territory's town governments, which employ 56,400 workers. Island mayors have backed the new measure as Puerto Rico struggles with nearly $70 billion in debt and a prolonged economic downturn.

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