The largest municipal bankruptcy in US history is over, but the effects of the “Grand Bargain” with Detroit debtors, foundations and the State of Michigan linger.
Democratic state Sen. Sylvia Santana has introduced bills to repeal changes to Michigan law that allowed bankruptcy, saying they are no longer needed.
The Big Market 2014 protected the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold off to pay off the city’s debts, but he also imposed restrictions like state financial oversight until 2034.
Santana said the city is in good financial shape and no longer needs the state to interfere in budget decisions.
“It gives the mayor direct discretion to go to the state and negotiate for the city without that council oversight,” she said. “Obviously they are part of the process, but the strength is not there.”
A spokesman for Mayor Mike Duggan said he could not comment because he had not seen the bills.
Santana said removing remaining restrictions could also help retired city union members, who have had to accept concessions as part of the deal.
“When you look at how their pensions and how their health care benefits have been reduced through this process, I think that’s something that needs to be taken into consideration when we go back to the drawing board.”
Senate Bills 1036-1040 were tabled in the Senate on Tuesday. Santana has introduced similar bills in previous sessions of the state legislature.
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