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Orr visits Lansing looking for some help

Kevyn Orr
Michigan Radio
Kevyn Orr

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was in Lansing today.  He told a state House committee Detroit’s bankruptcy settlement and recovery plan cannot succeed without an infusion of money from taxpayers.

Orr says it would be a wise investment for taxpayers to help turnaround an iconic American city.

“I can’t imagine California without San Francisco or LA. I certainly can’t imagine New York state without New York City. I can’t imagine Florida without Miami or Orlando. Likewise, I can’t imagine Michigan without Detroit,” Orr said.

The most likely plan at the moment would have state taxpayers put up roughly $200 million as part of the settlement. Orr says the state’s investment would also help avert pushing the city’s pensioners close to the poverty line, or forcing the Detroit Institute of Arts to sell off many of its masterpieces.

State Representative John Walsh chairs the House Committee on Detroit’s Recovery and Michigan’s Future. He says the city and its residents have been victims of mismanagement and corruption, but also changing economic forces.

"Whatever the cause, Detroit has crashed. And I would maintain that Detroit isn’t just broke, it’s broken,” Walsh said.

Walsh says the committee will move quickly on the legislation. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.