August 6, 2015 / 6:35 PM / in 4 years

Detroit's county opts for consent agreement for fiscal fix

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Wayne County, Michigan officials on Thursday chose a consent agreement with the state to implement a plan to deal with their government’s financial emergency.

The county, which is home to Detroit, had the ability under Michigan law to choose between a consent agreement, emergency manager, neutral evaluation, or Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy to deal with its fiscal woes, which include a $52 million structural budget deficit.

County Executive Warren Evans, who pushed for a consent agreement, applauded the county commission for agreeing with him.

“After carefully considering the available options, they made the right decision,” he said in a statement.

Wayne County now has 30 days to negotiate an agreement with the state, according to the Michigan Treasurer’s office.

Evans said the county is committed to negotiating in good faith with its unions even though a consent agreement could give it the ability to set employment terms.

Michigan declared a financial emergency for the county last month after Evans requested a state review in June.

Detroit went through a similar review process that led to the filing of the biggest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy, which the city exited last December after shedding about $7 billion of its $8 billion of debt and obligations.

Reporting By Karen Pierog; Editing by Andrew Hay

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