UC Law Journal


Frederick Tung


Because of federal Constitutional concerns, a municipal entity may resort to federal bankruptcy protection only with the authorization of its state. Federal law requires that a municipality be "specifically authorized" under state law to file for bankruptcy protection. Existing California law provides fairly broad authorization for its municipalities, but the statute is in need of both technical and substantive revision. After discussing Constitutional concerns and surveying other states' approaches to municipal bankruptcy authorization, this Article recommends a system of discretionary access, in which the governor holds discretionary power to approve, disapprove, or condition a municipality's access to bankruptcy.

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