FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2017
Contact: Carolina González, firstname.lastname@example.org, (929) 287-4263
VAMOS4PR STATEMENT ON FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT BOARD DECISIONS ON PUERTO RICO 2018 BUDGET AND PREPA DEBT RESTRUCTURE
The following statement can be attributed to Héctor Figueroa, president of 32BJ SEIU and a member of the VAMOS4PR steering committee:
“Just days before the one-year anniversary of the passage of PROMESA, Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight Board announced decisions that will deeply affect the lives of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents. VAMOS4PR members were heartened by the Board’s rejection of the proposed restructure deal for Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), an agreement we criticized because it favored bondholders and would have most likely raised electricity rates for consumers already struggling under a terrible economy.
“However, we are deeply concerned by the Board’s decision to mandate that Puerto Rico’s government make additional budget cuts on top of the $804 million, or 9 percent, in spending cuts already made in the proposed 2018 budget, reiterating the threat of public employee furloughs and pay cuts if additional budget cuts are not made. The Board’s use of public employees as a political football is inappropriate. Teachers and other public workers provide vital services in their communities, and their pay allows them to put food on their tables and to spend money locally.
“Because the Governor’s budget process has been less than transparent, the average Puerto Rican does not have adequate information on what is being cut from and added to this budget. But we do know this: Puerto Rico’s economy will not be healed through cuts alone. It requires policies that invest in workers and their families instead of penalizing them.”