Puerto Rico’s government formally submits balanced budget, releases more details

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s government has released more details on the island’s first balanced budget in more than a decade.

Officials say the U.S. territory’s education and police departments will receive the bulk of general funds spent.

However, the education department also will see several cuts amid $1.4 billion in spending reductions, including a 40 per cent decrease in school transportation funds that is expected to save about $65 million. Office of Management & Budget Director Carlos Rivas says municipalities are now expected to co-ordinate school transportation.

Rivas also says the government will close roughly 100 schools because of the drop in the island’s population. Some 450,000 people have left Puerto Rico in the past decade amid economic struggles.

The government’s $9.64 billion budget was formally submitted to the legislature Wednesday.

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