Detroit’s Bankruptcy and Recovery
In early 2011 the Michigan legislature made significant changes to Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law in an effort to resolve the longstanding challenges facing several local governments.
In May 2014, Bolger announced the formation of a special committee, House Committee on Detroit’s Recovery and Michigan’s Future, to help Detroit settle the largest municipal bankruptcy in history while protecting Michigan taxpayers statewide.
The committee introduced legislation to help Detroit avoid further bankruptcy litigation by offering a $194.8 million lump sum to the city’s retirement systems. In addition to the one-time contribution, legislation was passed to create an oversight commission to aid Detroit’s recovery.
The Speaker also called on unions to make contributions to help in the Detroit settlement. Bolger requested unions to make a material contribution that was reflective of other parties involved in the settlement. Bolger held firm to his request, and several unions did agree to make material contributions towards health care costs to help with the Detroit bankruptcy settlement. After unions agreed to contribute money towards the settlement, the Michigan House passed legislation with major bipartisan support.
The legislative packaged joined with the efforts of many others to settle and resolve the largest municipal bankruptcy in the country’s history.