When a split Harrisburg city council voted to declare bankruptcy, it sparked controversy. The mayor said they didn’t have the authority, the council said it did and signed the declaration themselves.

Now, the Governor has signed a bill allowing the state to take over the city, place it into a receivership, and develop its plan to recover. But before the state-takeover is finalized, the bankruptcy court must approve the move and the attorney representing the city councils says that is anything but a done deal.

If the city is placed into a state receivership, then the state’s Community and Economic Development Secretary steps in and designs the plan for recovery. If, however, the city develops its own plan, the proposed take over would be voided and the city would remain autonomous.

From Reuters:

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed legislation on Thursday that allows for the takeover of the state’s capital city of Harrisburg, setting up a legal confrontation between the state and the city.

The bill paves the way for the governor to declare a state of fiscal emergency that leads to a recovery plan for Harrisburg, which filed for bankruptcy last week.

Harrisburg, a city of about 50,000, is struggling to pay for essential services as well as about $300 million in debt that funded an incinerator project that failed to generate expected cash.

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