Puerto Rico's Legislature late Monday evening passed a $9.48 billion fiscal 2009 budget that includes the creation of a new fund for direct investment - a plan that could bring in $575 million of funds to help fill a $1 billion deficit in the budget.

The House and Senate Monday also passed a $250 million general obligation bond bill for fiscal 2008, which ended June 30. In addition, officials anticipate refunding previous debt to generate savings that will then be used to meet a $175 million annual payment to the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico for past Public Improvement Fund loans totalling $1.2 billion that the bank extended to the central government.

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