Multi-million Dollar Promise to Fight Child Poverty in Puerto Rico Vanishes
A month after being sworn in as governor, Pedro Pierluisi shared his administration’s budget priorities for 2021-22, promising a $5.5 million allocation to fight child poverty. Three months later, that line item was reduced to $1.2 million for a “pilot project,” according to the budget resolution for the fiscal year. To no one’s surprise, La Fortaleza blames the Fiscal Control Board for the cut that was not challenged in the budget the Executive presented to the Legislature. In a letter dated May 10, the entity approved Governor’s petition to reconsider a $1.2 million assignment for the project. The Office of Management & Budget (OGP in Spanish) did not provide the amendment tract that Pierluisi made to his proposed budget in order to know if the Government rejected the cut.
Pierluisi estimates that a long-term annual investment of $4.4 billion is enough to counteract child poverty, according to the press release announcing the executive order establishing the Advisory Commission on Poverty in Puerto Rico.