Improving finances help Pittsburgh shed distressed status

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The city of Pittsburgh is getting out of a state program that helps financially distressed governments.

The Wolf administration said Monday that improving finances mean Pittsburgh no longer qualifies, becoming the second city and 14th municipality in the state to emerge from distressed status.

Pittsburgh was plagued by debt, pension demands and budget problems when it entered into the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act program in 2003.

At that time, the city’s credit was junk-bond status. It had spent more than it collected for at least three years and had run a 5 percent deficit for two successive years.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s secretary of community and economic development made the decision after a hearing in late December on the current status of Pittsburgh’s finances.

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