The fate of Pennsylvania’s financially troubled capital, Harrisburg, took another twist in a long road on Thursday, when Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill permitting him to place the city into receivership.
By signing Senate Bill 1151 into law, Mr. Corbett opened the way for him to declare a fiscal emergency in Harrisburg. The move was an attempt by the governor to wrest control of the city’s finances away from local government, which has been stuck in a standoff for months. The City Council has repeatedly rejected efforts by Mayor Linda Thompson to impose a financial recovery plan, and last week, it filed a Chapter 9 petition in federal bankruptcy court, a move that Ms. Thompson and Mr. Corbett immediately declared illegal.
Kelli Roberts, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Mr. Corbett planned to file a petition in state court to place the city into receivership but probably not this week.
The city’s troubles stem from a failed trash incinerator project that has saddled it with $310 million in debt, more than quadruple its annual budget.
Members of the City Council who have opposed Ms. Thompson’s plans have also fought the bill, saying it robs Harrisburg of self-rule.
Comment: Normally when one thinks of government mismanagement Detroit, Chicago, Illinois, and California come to mind.