Puerto Rico receives CARES Act financing
Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced (R) said Wednesday the U.S. territory received $2.2 billion from the federal Treasury as part of the coronavirus stimulus package signed into law last month.
“The funds will be destined to continue guaranteeing the wellbeing of all citizens in this fight against COVID-19. This way, we’ll have liquidity to mitigate the fiscal impact and make viable different programs for Puerto Ricans,” said Vázquez Garced in a statement.
The funds were deposited following a formal request made by Puerto Rico’s finance department Thursday.
Although the funding will be a windfall for the cash-strapped local government — it represents more than a fifth of its annual budget — the territories received a proportionately smaller slice of the emergency fund than the states.
Out of the $150 billion assigned to the coronavirus relief fund, $3 billion was assigned to the territories, including the District of Columbia, $8 billion to tribal governments, and the rest to the states, with a minimum disbursement of $1.25 billion per state.
With a population of nearly 3.2 million, Puerto Rico took the lion’s share of the territorial relief package, while Washington received about $500 million, despite Democrats’ protestations that the capital should be treated as a state.
Puerto Rico’s $2.2 billion amounts to just under $690 per capita, while Wyoming, the country’s least populous state, will receive at least $1.25 billion, more than $2,100 per capita.