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Thread: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

  1. #1
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Unhappy Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown
    By MANUEL RIVERA, Associated Press Writer

    Schools closed. Building permits were on hold. Renewing a driver's license was impossible.

    Many basic functions of Puerto Rico's government were unavailable Monday as the U.S. commonwealth ran out of money and imposed a partial public-sector shutdown — putting nearly 100,000 people — including 40,000 teachers — out of work and granting an unscheduled holiday to 500,000 public school students.

    The shutdown — the first in Puerto Rico's history — happened despite last-minute attempts by members of the legislature and Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila to agree on a bailout plan.

    Police and other emergency services were not affected, but dozens of public offices were either shuttered or partially closed. Hundreds of government employees stood in the rain outside the capitol to protest the politicians' failure to avoid the shutdown, and to spur them into resolving the impasse.

    "I'm not earning any money and the kids don't have classes," said Sonia Ortiz, a 44-year-old teacher and single mother of two who attended the protest. "I have savings but not enough."

    A protest late in the afternoon in San Juan's financial district turned into a confrontation between police and masked youths, who scrawled graffiti calling for revolution. Officers used nightsticks to disperse the protesters and one youth was taken away in an ambulance. There were no reports of arrests.

    Puerto Rico is saddled with a $740 million budget shortfall because the legislature and the governor have been unable to agree on a spending plan since 2004. Conflicting sales tax proposals have been floated that would allow the island to secure a line of credit so it could pay public salaries through the end of the fiscal year on June 30. The island currently has no sales tax.

    "They have to solve this quickly," said Juan Marrero, a shop owner in a San Juan suburb, whose business was hurt by the closure of a nearby elementary school.

    All 1,600 public schools on the island closed Monday, two weeks before the end of the academic year, along with 43 government agencies. Acevedo blamed "legislative inaction."

    "As of 8 a.m. this morning, I don't have in hand a single legislative proposal that resolves this crisis," he told reporters.

    Overnight, the leader of the Senate proposed a 5.9 percent sales tax that he said would raise enough money to pay off an emergency $532 million line of credit that the government needs to finish the fiscal year.

    Leaders in the House of Representatives said they would support only a 4 percent tax.

    Acevedo insisted that 7 percent sales tax was necessary, saying anything less would only postpone the crisis until July 1, when the next fiscal year begins.

    Members of the New Progressive Party, which controls the legislature, have blamed the governor for the crisis. The two sides never agreed on the 2005 or the 2006 budgets, and the government is using the 2004 budget to operate as debts pile up.

    The government is Puerto Rico's largest employer, with some 200,000 workers. Salaries make up about 80 percent of the government's operational costs.



    Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


    Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.


    These are my People! WE all need to go to P.R. for vacation and spend some money on some fine Rum and good food FREE PUERTO RICO!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    Sorry Alice but they need to just buckle down and enact a sales tax. Not having a sales tax is a luxury few areas in the US can afford..and Puerto Rico is not one of those places unfortunately.
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    Next they will blame the problems on the Chubcabrea( I think i spelled it wrong ,it the bllod sucking animal that attacks goat and people inthe middle of the night , like a really mean bigfoot )

    I bet some of those people out of work are my family

  4. #4
    Hit By Ban Bus! UndercoverGator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    I feel like being flip so I have to ask how could anyone tell they weren't working? *Ducks and hides and really doesnt hold anything against Puerto Ricans, just felt sarcastic*

    The sales tax issue is essential in straightening out the mess there. Also they should really push the tourist industry. It's such a beautiful place that I'm surprised it's not another tourist trap/destination like the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands.

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    Hey no harm done , that Island is filled with crazy people , and a few of them share my last name and DNA , lucky me

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    Oregon doesn't have a sales tax and look how good that state turned out!




  7. #7
    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    As a Puerto Rican I must agree that a sales tax is a step in getting the island in shape. It's just rcrazy how an island that has a booming tourist industry is facing the kind of economic shutdown that is going on right now.

    I also see either a revolution or a cry for statehood in the future. THough I really don't know if those 2 things will help PR. I hope my grandparents are okay there.

  8. #8
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Imposes Partial Shutdown

    hey yeah like I said they really need to become a state!

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