DETROIT Jan 16 Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
has proposed a $350 million, 20-year plan for the state to
protect Detroit retiree pensions and the collection of the
Detroit Institute of Arts, local newspapers reported on
Snyder's proposal would use tobacco settlement funds or
bonds to finance the outlay to Detroit and would not use cash
from the state's general fund, the Detroit News reported.
The governor, a Republican, met with legislators on
Wednesday, his spokeswoman, Sara Wurfel said, but she would not
comment on details of the meeting.
"It would be inappropriate and premature" to provide details
on the talks, Wurfel said in an email.
Snyder's reported plan would match the $330 million that
several philanthropic foundations have pledged to defend the DIA
and the pensions.
Snyder "takes the foundation commitment seriously," Wurfel
said, adding that the governor thought it was important to
discuss with the legislature ways the state can assist the city.
Republican legislators have played down the possibility of a
direct bailout to Detroit, which is struggling under more than
$18 billion in debt and is the largest U.S. city ever to be
In an email on Wednesday, Ari Adler, the spokesman for
Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger told Reuters, "A direct
bailout for the city by the state is not an option Speaker
Bolger will consider, but many other options exist that deserve
to be explored."
(Reporting by Joseph Lichterman; Editing by David Greising)