Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed into law a projected R$3.3 trillion federal budget for 2019, the government said Wednesday. The budget includes controversial provisions that will require special congressional authorization under a constitutional mechanism known as the “golden rule.” The rule prohibits selling of government bonds to finance operational expenses or payment of benefits under entitlement programs. A projected R$249 billion in federal spending this year will require such financing. The 2019 budget provides for an operational, or primary, deficit of R$139 billion. The deficit initially projected for 2018 was also R$139 billion. However, final figures are expected to show an actual deficit smaller than that. Bolsonaro signed the budget law, passed by Congress in December, with minor vetoes.
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