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The money will be used to repair roads and administer public schools, national parks, and recreational areas.
Puerto Rico's House Treasury Committee Chairman Jesus Santa on Sunday called on Governor Pedro Pierluisi to amend the fiscal plan to transfer about US$922 million state funds to the municipalities to conduct social works.
The request was supported by the Decentralization and Regionalization Commission chairman Juan Santiago and the Mayors Association President Luis Hernandez who claimed that the central government had failed to provide effective maintenance to roads and public schools.
The lawmakers demanded decentralization to manage national parks, schools, and infrastructure projects, including the road construction program for which they asked US$513 million.
Direct fund transfers would represent a savings of US$210 million, thus eliminating tax municipal obligations for the next fiscal year such as US$166 million destined to the Health Insurance Administration (ASES).
Residentes de @caguasgovpr, junto al alcalde William Miranda Torres, realizan protesta frente al Centro Gubernamental Minillas, exigiendo acción de @DTOP y el gobierno central para que reparen las deterioradas carreteras estatales en dicha ciudad. [Video suministrado] #PuertoRicopic.twitter.com/wQNiC9vUsi
The meme reads, "Caguas residents together with Mayor William Miranda hold a protest in front of the Minillas Government Center, demanding action from the Transportation Department and the central government to repair the deteriorated state highways in that city."
Pierluisi will propose a US$10 billion budget to the Fiscal Oversight Board (FOSB) that contains several cuts in education, health, and public safety.
He also informed a wage increase to correctional officers and hirings for the Consumer Affairs, the Justice, and the Family departments, which together amount to US$40 million.
"For the past four years, the government, the Legislature, and the FOSB failed to establish accurate projections adjusted to the country's socio-economic reality, which is the main reason why none of these budgets were balanced," Santa said.