WNPR

Without A State Budget, Hartford Is Weeks Away From Insolvency

Sep 21, 2017

As the state continues to operate without a budget, the impact on the city of Hartford only get more dire.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has long said his city faces the kind of structural budgetary problems that it can’t solve on its own.

This year it faces a $45 million deficit; a few years from now that is projected to grow to $80 million.

The failed Democratic budget included funding to help the city in the short and long term, but the successful Republican budget provides a lot less, and no budget at all means no solution for Hartford.

Without a fix, Bronin has said Hartford is less than two months away from insolvency.

“I think a lot has changed since Friday, when the Republican budget was adopted," said Bronin. "That Republican budget, I think, amounts to a decision by the Republicans that the city of Hartford should file for bankruptcy. We have been preparing for a number of months for any outcome. In the wake of what happened Friday, we will obviously prepare with an even greater urgency.”

Len Fasano, the Republicans' leader in the state Senate, said he’s ready to work with the city and amend his budget if necessary. As he sees it, there are three options.

“We pay you to get over the hurdle and we deal with it later," he said. "We look at doing what we did with Waterbury. Or the governor is going to sign an order that allows you to go into bankruptcy. Which one of those three options are an option that we should do?”

The city of Waterbury had a state oversight board. But that, too, would have to come with money to help Hartford out.

Governor Dannel Malloy has previously said he’d veto the budget, but he hasn’t yet.  He said yesterday that he’s going through the budget now and, so far, he’s seen nothing in it that would cause him to change his mind.