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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Fiscal board establishes deadlines for new budget



House Treasury Committee Chairman Jesús Santa Rodríguez

By The Star Staff


The 2024-2025 fiscal budget, the highest in the island’s history at almost $13 billion, did not allocate funding for salary hikes for the island’s judges, and allocated few resources -- some $500 million -- to the University of Puerto Rico, House Treasury Committee Chairman Jesús Santa Rodríguez said Wednesday.


“... [T]he [Financial Oversight and Management] Board was very clear when in July it issued a letter stating the necessary conditions for the [salary] increase,” the legislator said in a radio report, noting that the item for the pay increase for judges was not included because there is no law that orders it, although the oversight board affirms that the money is there.


On Feb. 2, a judge determined that a resolution approved by the Legislature provided for the concession of the salary increase for judges. The resolution contains a portion of $11.2 million for the raise. The House of Representatives had tried to withdraw the resolution after conditioning the judges’ salary hike on a similar hike to legislators’ salaries.


The oversight board sent to the Legislature this week a forecast of revenues for the purpose of developing the fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget and other information. On March 25, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia must submit a proposed FY2025 budget based on the forecast of revenues and budget targets along with detailed supporting documentation for any variances. The government must update the inventory listing of all agencies, including agency contacts, and details on any consolidation of agencies or new agencies.


Following the receipt of the governor’s submission of the proposed FY2025 budget, and until May 3, the oversight board and the government will hold various meetings to revise the budget. The Legislature must submit to the board a revised budget by June 26 so it can be voted on by June 30.


The oversight board has estimated General Fund revenues at $13 billion and other types of revenues at $5.2 billion. In addition to complying with the FY2025 revenue forecast provided, the board expects the government’s March 25 submission of the proposed FY2025 budget to follow certain agency payroll and operating expenditure targets.


The oversight board said payroll targets include the current estimated impact of Act 80 of 2020 with reductions made to applicable agencies based on roster data provided by the government. The additional pension expense related to Act 80 is reflected in the “PayGo” expense line for the General Fund and Special Revenue Fund with incremental Pension Reserve Trust contributions captured within the respective agency targets, the board said.

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