Puerto Rico lawmakers seek to limit powers of fiscal board

Associated Press

FILE - In this July 29, 2015 file photo, the U.S. flag flies in front of Puerto Rico’s Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Plans to

FILE – In this July 29, 2015 file photo, the U.S. flag flies in front of Puerto Rico’s Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Plans to

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Legislators have watered down the powers of a proposed fiscal control board that aims to help stabilize Puerto Rico’s finances and appease bondholders amid an economic crisis.

Lawmakers in the U.S. territory have approved a measure to create the board after making dozens of amendments that would strip it of most of its powers.

Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank has said creditors want a fiscal control board. But several legislators say they have the right to exercise power over such a board.

One amendment approved late Thursday would allow the board to endorse but not approve an upcoming five-year fiscal reform plan. Another change would let the board review government agencies’ budgets but not modify them.

The Senate will review the amended bill before it goes to the island’s governor.

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