Accessibility links

Breaking News

Partial Government Shutdown Continues in Puerto Rico

A partial government shutdown in Puerto Rico is continuing for a second day Tuesday, as the U.S. territory faces severe budget problems.

The island ran out of money on Monday. Officials were forced to close schools and suspend other public services, putting nearly 100,000 people temporarily out of work.

Protesters marched Monday after the announcement. Displaced workers continued today to wait in long lines at the Department of Labor for unemployment benefits of up to about $130 a week.

The partial shutdown happened after legislators failed to pass a sales tax bill needed to secure a bailout loan. Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila blamed the shutdown on "legislative inaction."

Puerto Rico is facing a budget shortfall of $738 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The legislature and the governor have been unable to agree on a spending plan for months. Both sides are calling for the sales tax, which would be a first for Puerto Rico. The governor had called for a seven percent sales tax, but lawmakers wanted a 4 percent tax.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.