Puerto Ricans march to demand governor, lawmakers resolve budget troubles | VailDaily.com

Puerto Ricans march to demand governor, lawmakers resolve budget troubles

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – More than 45,000 Puerto Ricans marched through the streets of the capital Friday demanding politicians resolve a budget impasse that could lead to a government shutdown next week.Teachers, union members, students and government workers rallied in front of the legislature near the colonial section of Old San Juan.”We’re calling for them to reach an agreement, that they sign all that they need to sign so the Puerto Rican worker is not thrown out into the street and we remain without work. They must leave this game behind,” said Nilda Marrero, a teacher from the San Juan suburb of Bayamon.Police estimated between 45,000 and 50,000 people joined the march.This U.S. Caribbean territory on Monday runs out of cash to pay some 100,000 public employees and provide public services. Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila has said essential services, such as police and hospitals, would remain running, but 45 of nearly 120 government agencies would close, as well as nearly 1,600 schools, which would halt the term two weeks early.Acevedo Vila has urged Puerto Rico’s 3.9 million residents to pressure lawmakers to approve his plan to take out a $638 million loan, backed by a proposed 7 percent sales tax. The money would carry Puerto Rico through June 30, the end of this fiscal year.Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives wants to impose a 4 percent sales tax instead and has refused to review the governor’s plan. The island now has no sales tax.The government is Puerto Rico’s main employer, with more than 205,000 workers.Vail, Colorado

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