LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr testified before state lawmakers as they continue to consider legislation that would provide state aid to help settle Detroit’s bankruptcy.
The first committee hearing on the 11-bill package concluded Tuesday in Lansing.
Orr told lawmakers that he has put together a “reasonable” plan, but to put it bluntly “we need your money.”
Orr says the city has been making progress but still faces a long road ahead in negotiations.
“We still have quite a ways to go,” Orr said. “…I think we’re hopefully getting closer with our labor counter parties. But some of our creditor counter parties are still quite upset with us in the process, and they continue to file objections.”
When asked by Jackson Republican Earl Poleski about Detroit’s ability to repay its obligations to the state, Orr said, “Once we get the money in our hot little hands, how you all repay yourselves is to be designed by you; but we’re very, very fortunate to get the money in charge so we can discharge our obligations to the funds.”
“I recognize that that’s a key component, and understand the governor’s office is very interested in making fidelity and making sure the state itself remained healthy and is trued up, but that’s…more of an issue above my pay grade,” Orr added. “I’m just begging for the money.”
Two more hearings are planned later in the week.
The legislation would provide a $195 million lump-sum state payment to help shore up Detroit pension funds and prevent the sale of city-owned art. A committee would be created to oversee city budgeting and spending for at least 20 years.
Another condition includes prohibiting the Detroit Institute of Arts from renewing a three-county millage when it expires in 2023.
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