Puerto Rico approves sale of up to $3.5B in bonds

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor has signed a bill that authorizes the sale of up to $3.5 billion in bonds amid recent downgrades to the U.S. territory's credit rating.

The announcement Tuesday by Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla comes as the U.S. territory prepares to re-enter the bond market this month to help pay off $70 billion in public debt.

The bill also allows U.S. investors to sue the island's government if needed in Puerto Rico and New York courts. An earlier version of the bill would have allowed investors to sue Puerto Rico in any U.S. court.

Garcia said the measure is needed to strengthen Puerto Rico's economy as the island enters its eighth year in recession. The money will in part be used to repay and refinance old debt.

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