Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett Approves Harrisburg Takeover

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a new law giving him unprecedented power to force Pennsylvania's capital into a state-sanctioned financial recovery plan.

The Republican signed the legislation Thursday morning, less than a day after the House voted -- without debate and by a large margin -- to approve the plan to deal with Harrisburg's staggering debt.

Corbett said he remains a strong proponent of allowing municipal government to solve its own financial problems, but that the state must act to preserve public safety if local officials fail to act.

The new law empowers him to order Harrisburg to obey financial plans drawn up by his appointees, including a receiver who would have the power to sell city assets, approve contracts and file for federal bankruptcy protection, but not raise taxes.