SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Ricans are getting another shot at voting on statehood after the island’s governor on Friday approved a nonbinding referendum to determine the U.S. territory’s political future.

The referendum will be held June 11 and gives voters two options: statehood or independence/free association. If a majority chooses the latter, a second referendum would be held in October and will ask voters to choose between the two.

“Colonialism is not an option for Puerto Rico,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “It’s a civil rights issue … The time will come in which the United States has to respond to the demands of 3.5 million citizens seeking an absolute democracy.”

Backers say the referendum could help the island overcome a decadelong economic crisis as it struggles to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt and faces a federal control board pushing for more austerity measures.

If U.S. Congress ultimately were to approve Puerto Rico as the 51st state, the island could receive an additional $10 billion in federal funds a year and its government agencies and municipalities would be able to file for bankruptcy, something that both local and federal laws currently prohibit.

Statehood supporters say it also would grant the U.S. territory more equality: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens who are not allowed to vote in presidential elections and their representative in Congress has limited voting powers. The island also pays Social Security and Medicare taxes, but receives less benefits than U.S. states.

Half a million people have left Puerto Rico for the U.S. mainland in the past decade, leaving the government with a shrinking tax base as it struggles to find new sources of revenue despite increasing taxes and utility bills.

Congress has the final say on any changes in Puerto Rico’s political status.