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Hands-Off Approach May Be Changing in Hub of Muni Bankruptcies

  • California treasurer hopeful wants to help cities on the brink
  • State has laissez-faire attitude to municipal bankruptcies
Fiona Ma in 2013.

Fiona Ma in 2013.

Photographer: Charley Gallay/Getty Images

California is notorious for its hands-off approach to distressed cities. Fiona Ma wants to fundamentally change that if she becomes state treasurer.

Ma, a Democrat who’s running against Republican Greg Conlon in November, said she would establish a website that would list credit ratings and key financial metrics for local governments. As part of that effort, municipal officials seeing fiscal straits ahead could ask for assistance from the treasurer’s office, she said in an interview in San Francisco.