SAN JUAN – The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico certified on Wednesday the fiscal year 2021 consolidated budget for Puerto Rico, as well as eight budgets for agencies and instrumentalities, and 10 budgets for the municipalities in its pilot program.
The Commonwealth budget increased 10%, to $ 22.2 billion in fiscal year 2021 from $ 20.2 billion in fiscal year 2020, mainly due to a projected 17% increase in Federal funds, to $ 8.9 billion from $ 7.6 billion; and a projected 5% increase in the general fund budget, to $ 10,045 billion from $ 9.6 billion in part due to incremental investments in health care and the one-year delay in government rightsizing announced earlier this month, the board pointed out in a press release issued after its 19th public meeting.
“The fiscal year 2021 budget is a clear testimony to the fiscal responsibility of the previous years,” said Chairman José Carrión, who also announced he was stepping down. “Puerto Rico has a budget that fully funds critically needed services, makes necessary investments into health care and technology, and remains in balance. We have broken the cycle of deficit spending despite natural disasters and the ongoing health crisis. ”
The board listed the following as included in the consolidated budget:
- The $ 10,045 billion General Fund, which is the fund the government uses for its day-to-day operations. In addition to incremental investments to support continuous delivery of critical services and economic recovery, the General Fund includes a reclassification of certain special revenue expenditures.
- The $ 3.3 billion Special Revenue Funds, which are comprised of revenue the government generates from fees and services dedicated to particular uses. It declines from $ 3.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, mainly due to the reclassification. o The $ 8.9 billion Federal Funds, reflecting a more than 17% increase in expected funding from the U.S. Government from the $ 7.6 billion budgeted in fiscal year 2020, primarily as a result of the increased appropriations to fund Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program.
“The most significant spending in the consolidated budget continues to be health care, with $ 5 billion, or 23% of the total budget. Education is the second largest focus, with $ 3.5 billion, or 16% of the total budget. PayGo, the government pension payments, total $ 2.6 billion, or 12% of the total.
“The fiscal year 2021 budget addresses the COVID-19 crisis with incremental spending in priority areas, despite declining revenue forecasts as a result of the pandemic. The budget includes $ 314 million in additional health care investments, mainly to public hospitals; $ 285 million in additional investments in public safety; and $ 176 million in additional investments in education, mainly to special education and University of Puerto Rico scholarship, ”the release reads.
The board also certified the fiscal year 2021 budgets for:
• 10 Municipalities in the Oversight Board's pilot program  FOMB – Budget – FY2021 Aibonito Municipal Bu dget as Certified by the FOMB on June 30, 2020