Harrisburg to Get State Help on Debt

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Ed Rendell said Sunday that the state would speed $4.5 million to help this city avoid a rare default on a general obligation bond and help it right its troubled finances.

The governor insisted that the aid is not a bailout, and consists largely of pension contributions and other payments due to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital.

Mr. Rendell warned that if the city leaders did not begin working together, its problems could drag it into bankruptcy.

Harrisburg recently rattled the nation’s municipal bond market when it announced it would skip a $3.3 million bond payment due Wednesday.

Mr. Rendell said he began assembling the aid package after a call Thursday from Harrisburg’s mayor, Linda D. Thompson, and said a Harrisburg default could damage the ability of all Pennsylvania municipalities to borrow money.

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