Official says bankruptcy possible for state capital
HARRISBURG — The state official in charge of figuring out how to fix an enormous financial shortfall in Pennsylvania’s capital city said in a proposed recovery plan released Monday that “significant and difficult” steps lie ahead, and that Harrisburg may end up seeking bankruptcy protection.
In many respects, his 12-page outline reflects a work in progress, as Mr. Unkovic said he still needs to figure out the value of assets the city can sell or lease, and lawyers are digging into a forensic audit regarding an expensive trash incinerator renovation that has left the city on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.
“If civil actions are filed, the timing and likelihood of any recoveries are impossible to predict,” he wrote. “Therefore, it is not possible at this time to assume any level of proceeds for purposes of addressing the structural deficit of the city.”
He recommended the legislature examine the use of interest-rate swaps by the state’s municipalities and authorities.
Ruling expected Tuesday on same-sex marriage ban
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court plans to announce whether it thinks California’s same-sex marriage ban violates the civil rights of gays and lesbians, and whether the trial judge who struck down the voter-approved measure should have revealed he was in a long-term relationship with another man.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a three-judge panel was ready to publish its long-awaited opinions Tuesday on the ban and on the possible conflict-of-interest by former Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled that Proposition 8 did not pass constitutional muster.
Judge Walker presided over the first trial in federal court to examine whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to get married.
Even if the 9th Circuit panel agrees with him and overturns the ban approved by voters in November 2008, same-sex marriages are unlikely to resume in California any time soon. Supporters and opponents of Proposition 8 have said they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if they lose in the intermediate court.
The panel heard arguments on the ban’s civil rights implications more than a year ago, but it delayed a decision while it sought guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether Proposition 8’s sponsors had legal authority to challenge Judge Walker’s ruling after the governor and state attorney general decided not to appeal it.View Entire Story
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