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New Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi declares "fiscal emergency"

New Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi declared a "fiscal emergency" Saturday, hours after being sworn in on a vow to unite the U.S. territory, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The U.S. territory has experienced a tumultuous period politically and economically, with three governors in four years and a billion-dollar public debt.


The big picture: Pierluisi's fiscal executive order for government agencies to impose measures to reduce costs, such as travel limits, was one of six he signed Saturday night.

  • The 61-year-old also ordered the Caribbean island's health department to "design a robust" plan for coronavirus testing and for Puerto Rico's justice department to "work more closely with federal prosecutors on corruption cases," according to Bloomberg.

What he's saying: In a bilingual speech after being sworn in earlier Saturday, Pierluisi vowed to "turn the page on political turbulence," fight corruption, "work hard on what unites us," and achieve prosperity through statehood.

  • He called on "everyone to battle our common enemies: the pandemic, poverty and crime, lack of access to good education and health care, economic stagnation, corruption and inequality."
  • Doing this while jump-starting the economy, attracting investment and growing the tourism industry would "put Puerto Rico on a path to recovery and progress," said Pierluisi, who previously caucused with the Democrats as the island's congressional representative for eight years.

Of note: Pierluisi, leader of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, briefly served as governor after former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned last year amid massive protests after the U.S. territory's House of representatives found five impeachable offenses against him.

Go deeper: Why Puerto Rico is still struggling to get online

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the executive orders.

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