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Pa. State Senator Calls Harrisburg Bankruptcy Filing ‘Just For Show’

(The City of Harrisburg, including the state capitol at center.  File photo)

(The City of Harrisburg, including the state capitol at center. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - The Pennsylvania state senator who represents the City of Harrisburg says the city council’s decision to file for bankruptcy this week is “just for show,” and likely won’t stand.

The move by Harrisburg City Council to file for bankruptcy comes after years of debate on how deal with staggering debt from construction of a trash incinerator.

Republican Jeffrey Piccola, the state senator who represents Harrisburg and its eastern suburbs, says bankruptcy would be bad for everybody:

“It’s bad for the region and it’s bad for Pennsylvania, because it will cause the bond market to look at us and say, ‘Oh my God, they’re going to permit cities to go into bankruptcy (so) we’re going to raise the interest rate because our risks are higher in Pennsylvania.’ ’’

But Piccola contends the bankruptcy filing is illegal for several reasons including the fact that state legislation forbids it before next summer.

What’s more, Piccola is the sponsor of a bill expected to be sent to the governor next week that would result in a state takeover of Harrisburg, something the senator says would likely result in withdrawal of the bankruptcy petition.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo