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Court ruling may affect Flint's ability to pull itself out of financial mess

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley

Flint leaders say a federal court decision is threatening the city’s ability to recover financially.

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling preventing the city from implementing cuts to retiree health care.  The plan would make Medicare-eligible city retirees pay higher monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles.  

But the retirees sued.

Flint city leaders were hoping to reap $8.5 million over two years from the retiree health care cuts.

Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley says Flint has few other options to deal with its financial problems.

“You do the math and you tell me how confident you would be in recommending to Treasury or to the governor’s office that the city of Flint ,without resolving that issue, can hope for long-term financial sustainability,” says Earley.

“All you have to do is look 65, 70 miles down I-75 you get a pretty good idea what some of those other options are,” adds Earley.

Earley is referring to Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

Flint has a $13 million deficit, with the potential of adding another $2 million a year for the next few years due to its structural deficit.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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