Harrisburg’s financial troubles could affect Pa. credit rating

    One Pennsylvania lawmaker says the Harrisburg City Council’s rejection of a fiscal recovery plan will mean the capital city can’t make its upcoming bond payments.

    That could have implications for Philadelphia and the rest of the state.

    Sen. Jeffrey Piccola said when council members voted four to three against the mayor’s plan to bring the city out of debt with the help of state advisers, they put the bond rating of the commonwealth and its municipalities in jeopardy.

    “So citizens in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or Hazleton or over here in Cumberland County that have municipal and county governments that are fiscally sound and doing the prudent thing financially are going to find themselves paying higher interest rates,” he said.

    Piccola has proposed legislation that would put Harrisburg on the road to financial rehabilitation as it faces $300 million in debt over a failed trash incinerator project. However, the Legislature can’t take up the measure until it’s back in session in late September.

    Until then, Piccola said he’s not arguing that the state should advance Harrisburg any money.

    Gov. Tom Corbett said he’s waiting for Harrisburg’s city council to make a move.

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