Issued September 30, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – The Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board, which was set up by Congress with the passing of Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) officially met for the first time in New York today. This meeting begins the board's oversight of the restructuring of the commonwealth’s $70 billion debt. Rocio Saenz, SEIU International Executive Vice President issued the following statement in response to the meeting:
“The people of Puerto Rico have struggled for too long in an economic crisis that is hurting working families. The commonwealth’s debt has risen to $70 billion, public services have been cut and workers’ wages have been slashed but Wall Street has profited by taking advantage of the weakened Puerto Rican economy and made millions.
“Today’s meeting of the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board in New York is another example of how our government has and continues to fail Puerto Ricans. Not only did the whole meeting take less than an hour, it was also held only minutes away from Wall Street.
“If the board is serious about creating real solutions, it is imperative that they meet in Puerto Rico where the people most affected by Wall Street’s greed can have a say in the laws and policies that will be passed to overcome this debt crisis. With a poverty rate three times higher than that of the continental United States, Puerto Ricans need solutions that will not only help to restructure the debt but that will also help to rebuild the commonwealth’s economy and create good jobs.”