The Federal Fiscal Control Board certified the consolidated budget for fiscal year 2021 of the government of Puerto Rico. In addition, the board certified the budgets of eight government agencies and instrumentalities and the budgets for ten municipalities, which are part of a pilot project.
The government budget increased 10%, from $ 20.2 billion in fiscal year 2020 to $ 22,200 million in fiscal year 2021; mainly due to a projected 17% increase in federal funds, from $ 7.6 billion to $ 8.9 billion; and a projected 5% increase in the general fund budget, from $ 9.6 billion to $ 10.045 million. This is due, in part, to increased investments in health care and the postponement of government adjustments for one year, as announced earlier this month.
“The budget for fiscal year 2021 is a testament clear in favor of the fiscal responsibility of previous years ”, declared the president of the fiscal entity, José Carrión. “Puerto Rico has a budget that completely covers critically essential services, invests in vital areas such as health and technology, while remaining balanced. We have ended the cycle of spending at deficit levels despite natural disasters and the current health crisis. ”
The consolidated budget includes:
o The General Fund of $ 10,045 million is the fund used by the government for its day-to-day operations. In addition to additional investments to continue providing priority services and for economic recovery, the General Fund has a reclassification of certain special income expenses.
o The Special Income Funds of $ 3.3 billion, which are comprised of income generated the government's quotas and services dedicated to private uses have decreased from $ 3.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, mainly due to the aforementioned reclassification.
o Federal funds reached $ 8.9 billion, an increase of more than 17% compared with what had been anticipated, primarily as a result of an increase in hiring to finance the Medicaid program in Puerto Rico. During fiscal year 2020, that figure was $ 7.6 billion.
The most significant item of expenditure continues to be in the health sector, with $ 5 billion, or 23% of the total budget. The second highest item is for education, with $ 3.5 billion, or 16% of the total budget. Government PayGo pension payments amount to $ 2.6 billion, or 12% of the total budgeted.
In addition, the fiscal year 2021 budget addresses the Covid-19 crisis with additional spending in priority areas, despite projections that pointed to a decrease in income as a consequence of the pandemic. The budget includes $ 314 million of additional investments in health care, mainly in public hospitals; $ 285 million in additional investments in public safety; and $ 176 million in additional investments in education, primarily in special education and in the scholarship fund of the University of Puerto Rico.
The board also certified the budgets for fiscal year 2021 of the following public entities:
• Electric Power Authority
• Aqueduct and Sewer Authority
• Highway and Transportation Authority
• University of Puerto Rico
• Corporation of the Fund of Pressing Interest
• Puerto Industrial Development Company Rico
• Public Corporation for Supervision and Insurance of Cooperatives
• Center for Collection of Municipal Taxes
• Ten municipalities, as part of the pilot program of the board