State control of city's finances declared constitutional
Central Falls, Rhode Island: After pension obligations and declining revenues brought the Rhode Island city of Central Falls to the point of insolvency in 2010, local leaders requested that the state install a receiver to manage the city's finances. The Rhode Island General Assembly then passed a law that allowed the state to appoint a panel or a state receiver to any city that asks or meets certain criteria. Governor Lincoln Chafee then appointed former state Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Flanders, Jr. to replace former Superior Court judge Mark A. Pfeiffer as receiver for the city. Due to complaints from the city's mayor and members of the Central Falls City Council, a lawsuit was fileed on the grounds that the law violated their rights as elected leaders and that the state over stepped its bounds and infringed on the city's sovereign rights. On Tuesday, March 29, the state high court ruled otherwise. According to City Council President William Benson Jr., the mayor and city council members are expected to appeal the case to federal court.