Michigan Lawmakers Concerned Over Detroit's Bankruptcy

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- The judge's ruling on Detroit's bankruptcy is helping Republicans and Democrats find common ground. Both sides of the aisle are concerned about how it'll affect those in Detroit, and the whole state.

"It saddens me. It really saddens me, but I almost expected it to happen," said Detroit Legislator Rep. Harvey Santana (R).

"It's a bit sad because you don't want any city as proud as Detroit to go through this, but I'm also filled with hope," said Rep. John Walsh (R) Livonia.

Hope that bankruptcy is the answer to getting Detroit out of debt, but there's also concern about the impact it'll have.

"A lot of us are holding our breath to see where it goes next, but no one more than the actual pensioners who have such enormous stakes," said Senate Minority Leader (D) Gretchen Whitmer.

"I hope that their pensions are protected to the greatest extent possible. In the cold world of a bankruptcy action they are a creditor," said Walsh.

According to House Majority Leader Jase Bolger, the state as a whole is relying on Detroits recovery.

"This is not a Detroit issue. Detroit is seen as the gateway to Michigan in so many ways. When you're traveling and mention you're from Michigan they almost always ask about Detroit. It's important for our image," said Ari Adler, Bolger's Press Secretary.

Lawmakers like Santana, say they'll be keeping a close eye on how things will be managed.

"It all depends on how the money is managed, on the amount of revenue coming in, and what the emergency manager can negotiate."

Walsh pointed out that lawmakers don't have power over the bankruptcy because it's a federal ruling, but that's not going to stop him from trying to help.

"We can give them money, but that's not what it's always about. They're drowning in rules and regulations. We can remove them to make the process easier. That's the solution."

Some lawmakers believe it could be decades before the motor city, and Michigan's image are back to where they once were.

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