Puerto Rico debates constitutional amendment vote

Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico is preparing for a two-part referendum that could see the island amend its constitution for the first time in nearly half a century.

One part of the referendum would reduce the size of the U.S. territory's government by almost 30 percent as a money-saving measure. It would take effect in 2017 if passed.

The other part would give judges the right to deny bail in certain murder cases. Puerto Rico currently is the only place in the Western hemisphere where all suspects are entitled to bail. Supporters say that would reduce crime and protect witnesses and the relatives of victims.

It will take effect soon if voters approve it on Sunday.

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