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Harrisburg Receivership Bill Shows States Faster to Take Control

The receivership that looms over Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, may signal a new willingness for states to wrest control from local officials -- and voters - - to get a grip on financial crises.

This week, Republican Governor Tom Corbett may declare an emergency that would let an appointee oversee Harrisburg’s finances. In March, Michigan gave emergency managers unprecedented power including ordering tax elections and nullifying union contracts. The state trained more than 250 people, many of them officials from towns that want to keep the state out. In January, New York took control of Nassau County after 11 years of monitoring its finances.