SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s governor has submitted a $9.8 billion budget proposal that calls for $674 million in cuts amid the U.S. territory’s economic crisis.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla did not present the budget during a televised address as is tradition. He instead filed it late Wednesday after legislators recessed for the day.
Legislators will hold public hearings before the House of Representatives approves the budget and turns it over to the Senate.
The proposal seeks to set aside $1.5 billion to pay off Puerto Rico’s debt, an increase of $400 million from with last year’s budget. Officials also have said the governor wants to close 95 schools and 20 public agencies to cut costs.
Puerto Rico is in its eighth year of recession and faces a $72 billion public debt.