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Pedro Pierluisi. Photo: Alejandro Granadillo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi declared a "fiscal emergency" and ordered the island's Department of Justice to step up anti-corruption efforts Saturday — hours after being sworn in, per Bloomberg.

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

  • The pandemic has badly affected the island, which is still recovering from catastrophic Hurricane Maria and last year's earthquakes.
  • Political analyst Mario Negrón told AP, "The economy is in critical condition, and even though federal funds are on their way, people forget that the debt will have to be paid starting in February."

The big picture: Pierluisi signed six executive orders Saturday night — including the fiscal measure instructing government agencies to reduce costs, such as imposing travel limits, and for the local DOJ to liaise closely with federal prosecutors in corruption cases.

  • The 61-year-old leader of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party also ordered the Caribbean island's health department to "design a robust" plan for coronavirus testing, 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," Pierluisi said.

Of note: Pierluisi briefly served as governor after former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned in 2019 amid massive protests after the U.S. territory's House of Representatives found five impeachable offenses against him.

  • The new governor previously caucused with the Democrats as the island's congressional representative for eight years.

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.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Globetrotting climate envoy Kerry makes Biden team’s first visit to China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

John Kerry became the first senior Biden administration official to touch down in China this week. He's also been the first to sit down with a string of world leaders.

Why it matters: Kerry may no longer be secretary of state, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise after a glance at his calendar. The unusual role could make Kerry a foreign policy force multiplier for President Biden, or potentially a source of mixed messages.

Chicago releases video of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old boy

A small memorial is seen on April 15 in Chicago where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a police officer in March. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Chicago's independent police review board on Thursday released the body camera footage of an officer's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29.

The big picture: Tension continues to rise nationwide in response to police misconduct and racism. Thursday's footage release comes days after officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in a traffic stop near Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is ongoing.

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