Puerto Rico governor signs bills to help manage island’s debt

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s governor has signed into law two bills to help the U.S. territory manage its ability to repay a $70 billion public debt.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Friday that the new laws go into effect Feb. 1.

One bill establishes a corporation that will issue bonds to help pay and refinance some of the $590 million in debt held by the island’s municipalities. The corporation would use revenues from sales and use tax to guarantee payment.

The other bill creates a new fund for those revenues that will be run by the Government Development Bank.