This recent N.Y. Times article discusses the possibility of municipalities reducing their pension obligations by filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, focusing specifically on Central Falls, Rhode Island. The article quotes U. Penn. law professor David Skeel, who discusses the Vallejo, California, bankruptcy in his provocative new article, “States of Bankruptcy” (appearing in the University of Chicago Law Review in 2012).
Should cities and towns control drilling for natural gas (through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”) as they do zoning in most states? Or is statewide control preferable? This recent N.Y. Times article highlights the dispute as it is playing out in Pennsylvania, where the legislature is considering legislation to assert statewide control over the practice. For more on fracking legislation at the state level, check out this link (from July 2011) from the National Conference of State Legislatures.