Karen's Feed
Nov 21, 2014

Illinois pension reform law tossed by state judge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A judge ruled on Friday that an Illinois law aimed at easing the state’s huge unfunded pension liability is unconstitutional, handing a victory to labor unions and state retirees who challenged the law and an initial defeat to the state’s efforts to fix its sagging finances.

The judge’s sweeping ruling will send the case to the Illinois Supreme Court for a final determination on the law’s constitutionality. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which is defending the law, said it will ask the high court for an expedited appeal.

Nov 20, 2014

Judge to hear arguments over Illinois pension reform law

CHICAGO, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Illinois faces an uphill battle
to defend on Thursday the constitutionality of a law aimed at
easing the state’s huge unfunded pension liability.

Lawyers for the state will try to convince a judge in state
capital Springfield that the law is crucial to save the state’s
sinking finances. Attorneys for public labor unions and others
will argue the law is invalid because it trounces on state
constitutional protections for public worker retirement
benefits.

Nov 5, 2014

New Illinois governor faces full plate of fiscal problems

CHICAGO, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Illinois’ newly elected
Republican governor will need to navigate fixes for the state’s
fiscal woes through a Democrat-controlled legislature or risk
seeing the state’s credit ratings fall and bond yields rise,
municipal analysts said on Wednesday.

Wealthy businessman and first-time candidate Bruce Rauner
beat incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in Tuesday’s
election, though Quinn waited to concede until Wednesday
afternoon after a full vote count was completed.

Nov 5, 2014

Republicans gain in U.S. state legislative elections

CHICAGO, Nov 5 (Reuters) – The Republican wave that hit the
U.S. Congress in Tuesday’s mid-term election also boosted the
party in state legislative races where it gained control of at
least three chambers.

Democrats lost their majorities in the Nevada Senate,
Minnesota House and West Virginia House to Republicans, who were
also poised to take over the New Hampshire House, according to
the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Oct 31, 2014

Testy Illinois governor race holds no cure for state finances

CHICAGO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Whichever candidate wins the
pitched battle for Illinois governor on Tuesday faces the
prospect that the state supreme court next year could toss
hard-fought changes to the woefully underfunded state pension
system.

Neither incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn nor wealthy
Republican private equity investor Bruce Rauner has revealed a
workable “Plan B” to strengthen the pension system, the most
underfunded of any U.S. state.

Oct 22, 2014

Detroit can survive after bankruptcy but large risks loom: expert

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit’s relatively fast move through municipal bankruptcy has resulted in costly creditor settlements and too little emphasis on fixing the city’s broken operations, a restructuring expert testified in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday.

Still, Martha Kopacz, who was appointed by Judge Steven Rhodes to assess the viability of Detroit’s plan to restructure $18 billion of debt and obligations, concluded the plan is feasible and that its underlying revenue and other assumptions are reasonable.

Oct 21, 2014

Judge drops hints as Detroit bankruptcy case nears finish line

DETROIT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. judge overseeing
Detroit’s historic bankruptcy dropped hints on Tuesday on what
he wants to hear in the city’s closing statements and what he
may be scrutinizing in creditor settlements.

The city’s emergency manager also testified in federal court
on Tuesday that a recent settlement with the last major holdout
creditor was important to keeping elements of Detroit’s debt
adjustment plan together.

Oct 21, 2014

Judge wants settlements, loan, fees in Detroit’s closing arguments

DETROIT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The federal judge overseeing
Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case wants the city to explain its
settlements with creditors and its exit financing in closing
arguments next week, he said on Tuesday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes said it was up to
the city to determine what it will cover in the arguments,
scheduled for Oct. 27, but he specifically wanted to hear about
certain issues.

Oct 20, 2014

Judge to rule on Detroit bankruptcy plan in early November

DETROIT, Oct 20 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge said on Monday he
would rule during the week of Nov. 3 on Detroit’s plan to adjust
its debts and exit the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said he would issue an oral
ruling in court late that week on whether the plan is fair to
creditors and feasible for the city to carry out. He also set
Oct. 27 for closing arguments in the plan’s confirmation
hearing, which began Sept. 2.

Oct 3, 2014

Judge raises questions about bankrupt Detroit’s future

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes asked pointed questions on Friday about how Detroit will fare after it exits its historic bankruptcy, expressing concerns about a commission intended to oversee city finances and a settlement with Syncora Guarantee Inc.

Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, on the witness stand for a third day at the hearing on the city’s bankruptcy plan, told Rhodes the presence of the mayor and city council president on the nine-member financial review commission created under Michigan law should not compromise its mission.