05.22.14

Motor City Recovery & Future. Responding to Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger’s request for unions to contribute to Detroit’s recovery, the United Auto Workers yesterday became the second to agree to contribute to the grand bargain — the same day on which the special committee in the legislature unanimously forwarded the 11-bill package to the full House for a vote as early as today. The UAW announced it would “help raise material contributions toward the health care costs for Detroit’s retirees,” according to U.S. Judge Gerald Rosen’s office. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s office commended the UAW for its help in “stepping up to help strengthen pensions and put the city on a quicker path to solvency.” In making its pledge, the UAW would become the latest group to pledge to join with the Governor, state legislature, philanthropic foundations, and the Detroit Institute of Arts to raise millions of dollars to seek to ensure that no retiree is forced into poverty and protect the world famous museum from liquidation.

Waiting for Godot. The City of San Bernardino and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System have requested another extension to file court documents in Calpers’appeal of the city’s eligibility to be eligible for federal bankruptcy with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, citing progress achieved in their ongoing, confidential mediation: “The parties, working with Judge Zive, have engaged in extensive negotiations and have made significant progress, and Judge Zive is planning to schedule further mediation sessions…Given the progress in the mediation, the parties and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gregg Zive felt it was appropriate to continue the briefing schedule for this appeal.”  Judge Zive, who has been serving in a role similar to Judge Gerald Rosen in Detroit, is a past president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges—in this case requested by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury to assist in the confidential mediation between the two parties. The current briefing deadlines for Calpers’ opening brief have been extended to July 21st from this week―with San Bernardino due to respond by August 20th. In the joint filing, the parties also requested that the appeal be calendared as soon as possible only after briefing has been submitted by both sides.

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