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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 14, 2016.
Puerto Rico Stability Act of 2016
This bill permits the government of Puerto Rico to restructure its debt by using a process that requires it to establish a Fiscal Stability and Reform Board, a Chief Financial Officer, and a fiscal plan.
The Department of the Treasury may provide technical assistance to territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands) it determines are eligible for assistance relating to fiscal and financial practices.
The bill amends the Omnibus Insular Areas Act of 1992 to permit Puerto Rico to make purchases through the General Services Administration.
Puerto Rico may restructure all of its debts using specified procedures if it passes a resolution to opt-in to the process by establishing a Fiscal Stability and Reform Board to monitor, review, and approve certain fiscal policy decisions. Once Puerto Rico passes the resolution, the bill provides a 12-month initial stay on debt-related litigation to permit Puerto Rico to organize its finances.
The governor: (1) must appoint a Chief Financial Officer, (2) must develop and submit to the board for approval a five-year fiscal plan to restore solvency and fully fund pensions, and (3) may then submit a debt restructuring proposal to be considered using specified procedures.
Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act of 2015
The bill amends the federal bankruptcy code to treat Puerto Rico as a state under chapter 9 (Adjustment of Debts of a Municipality) to permit Puerto Rico to authorize its public corporations to be debtors.