Puerto Rico in Distress

ABI Analysis

A Canadian-American consortium swept into Puerto Rico last year with promises to transform the island’s antiquated power grid. Many residents welcomed the change, tired of subpar service from a state-run utility that left them in darkness for months after a strong hurricane five years ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up Puerto Rico teachers unions’ appeal to challenge the island’s historic debt and pension restructuring plan, Bloomberg Law reported. The justices’ decision to bypass keeps in place the restructuring plan’s provisions that upend local laws and reduce teacher benefits.

A federal control board that supervises Puerto Rico’s finances announced a new executive director on Thursday after its last one stepped down in April following a historic debt restructuring for the U.S. territory, the Associated Press reported. Robert Mujica, budget director for New York state, is expected to assume his new role in January.

Canceling the landmark contract that put Puerto Rico’s electric grid under private management is “not on the table,” despite calls to revoke the deal by Nov. 30, Fermin Fontanes, the head of the island’s public-private partnerships agency, told WKAQ 580 radio Thursday, Bloomberg News reported.

Other Resources

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico was created under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act of 2016. The Board consists of seven members appointed by the President of the United States and one ex officio member designated by the Governor of Puerto Rico. Access information on the Board, documents, videos of meetings, calendar of events and live webcasts by clicking here.