DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan’s attorney general has officially joined Detroit’s federal bankruptcy case on behalf of pensioners.
Bill Schuette filed a notice of appearance Monday with the bankruptcy judge overseeing the case.
Pension benefits are constitutionally protected in the state, and Schuette said he would work to defend “Michigan seniors living on fixed incomes and anticipating a safe and secure retirement after a lifetime of work.”
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr took Detroit into Chapter 9 bankruptcy earlier this month with the blessing of Gov. Rick Snyder, who said it was the only viable option for a city crushed under $18 billion in long-term debt.
The status of employee pensions is expected to be a key issue in the bankruptcy. Orr has said pension benefits could be reduced along with other debts.
Snyder says he cares about Detroit retirees, but it’s “a difficult situation.” He said city workers will get a place at the table during bankruptcy proceedings so their voices can be heard.
Detroit’s is largest bankruptcy filing by a local government in U.S. history.