Plan is in the works to save the artwork at the DIA and pensions for Detroit's retirees
11:36 PM, Jan 21, 2014
DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - A deal is being hammered out in Lansing to protect the artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts and pensions for Detroit's retirees.
The deal would consist of $350 million dollars over 20 years and be funded by the State of Michigan.
The deal would have to be agreed upon by the legislature, and the plan would also have to be accepted by the bankruptcy judge.
The bulk of the plan is geared toward protecting the artwork at the DIA so it cannot be sold to pay creditors bankruptcy attorney Stuart Gold told 7 Action News.
"Without it, there's going to be a lot of entanglement with the DIA, a lot of litigation, over what's public property, what's not and certainly if there can be a resolution on this particular issue, that removes it or takes it off the table and we can focus on other issues of disagreement," said Gold.
Governor Rick Snyder met with key Republicans and Democrats this afternoon to lay out a framework that would also protect pensions for retirees.
"Certainly, this will fund the plan for all creditors, but not specifically for the retirees," said Gold.
The catch is that there are other creditors also interested in the plan.
"It certainly will eventually flow to the pensioners and the retirees, but we've seen nothing so far that suggests that 100 percent of these funds would go directly toward those obligations," said Gold.
Gold said the plan would likely help speed up the bankruptcy process. Once more details are hammered out, the plan will have to be presented and agreed upon by the legislature. According to a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-Lansing), the Democrats are encouraged by the plan, but it will be a harder sell to the Republicans.
A spokesperson for Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger tells 7 Action News tonight:
"There's no proposal finalized yet. Whatever the final proposal is, he will only support it if it protects all of Michigan's taxpayers from business as usual in Detroit." --Ari Adler, Spokesperson.
Sources told 7 Action News tonight that the governor would hold a press conference in Lansing tomorrow morning to discuss the plan is being worked out, but late tonight the governor's Press Secretary, Sara Wurfel, told 7 Action News there is no press conference scheduled for tomorrow. Wurfel did say that could change if new details emerge with the plan.
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