Gov. Fortuno Heads into 2nd Term Re-Election Bid Having Cut Puerto Rico's Deficit by 90% and Nearing a Balanced Budget
Lower Taxes, Pro-Growth Policies have Sparked an Economic Revival on the Island during the Governor's First Term
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno makes his case for re-election Tuesday having restored a nearly bankrupted government with the worst budget deficit in the country four years ago by delivering positive economic growth, job creation, lower taxes and a balanced budget by 2013.
"I've made tough decisions, so that Puerto Ricans can achieve greater economic freedom and prosperity. We've created a more effective and accountable government, and a more vibrant economy that rewards job creation, investment, hard work and success," Gov. Fortuno said. "We have set Puerto Rico on the right path and we must continue with the same discipline, drive and determination to protect what we have achieved and continue delivering results."
When Gov. Fortuno took office in January 2009, he inherited a $3.3 billion budget deficit – the worst, proportionally, throughout the United States. The Governor cut government expenses by almost 20 percent – starting with his own salary – to lower the deficit and rescue Puerto Rico's credit on Wall Street. In his first term, Gov. Fortuno slashed the deficit 90 percent, setting the course to completely balance Puerto Rico's budget next year. In turn, Puerto Rico bonds received their highest credit rating in 28 years.
Once the fiscal situation was stabilized, Gov. Fortuno implemented the largest tax cut in Puerto Rico history, reducing taxes by an average of 50 percent for individuals and 30 percent for corporations. "The best way to achieve a healthy economy is to protect and empower job creators.We promoted common-sense solutions that delivered real results for hardworking Puerto Ricans," the Governor said."Our economy is now experiencing positive growth for the first time in six years.We are seeing more jobs, more small business created, higher home sales, and higher retail sales."
The Governor delivered on his commitment toward world-class infrastructure projects, creating the most historic Public-Private Partnership program in the country.These initiatives have attracted $4.75 billion in private-sector investments to build and restore Puerto Rico's roads, highways, schools, hospitals and airports.As part of that investment, the 21st Century Schools Program has received $756 million to modernize 103 schools across the Island, creating life-changing opportunities for students and families. Governor Fortuno also launched a comprehensive bilingual education program with the goal of ensuring, within 10 years, that every high school graduate is fully bilingual.
Values, morals and ethics remain the cornerstone of the Governor's education plan, in order to strengthen Puerto Rican society.He deployed the most comprehensive Character Counts! values education program in the country, introducing the six pillars of character into schools across the Island.
"If I continue to have the privilege of serving the people of Puerto Rico, my administration will continue to create greater security and prosperity in our economy, our neighborhoods, our schools, our health care system and our natural environment.And we will continue to promote the values that have made Puerto Rico strong and will prepare the next generation to achieve their potential," the Governor said.
SOURCE Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico