Well, that escalated quickly.
Just two months after Standard & Poor’s downgraded its general obligation debt to junk status, warning that the historic Connecticut capital could soon follow other once-proud cities like Detroit into bankruptcy, Hartford city officials confirmed as much when they warned on Thursday that the city could be forced into insolvency within two months if the state doesn’t provide emergency financial relief, the WSJ reports.
“City officials warned Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, and state lawmakers that Hartford, which has a deficit approaching $50 million, wouldn’t be able to pay all of its bills within 60 days. Hartford officials said it would file for bankruptcy at that point unless the state legislature passes a budget that gives the city more funding or otherwise provides it with more cash.
‘We face the greatest fiscal crisis in our city’s history,’ officials said in a letter signed by Mayor Luke Bronin, Treasurer Adam Cloud and Thomas Clarke II, president of the court of common council.”
Hartford has been plagued by political corruption and a disintegrating corporate tax base – most recently exemplified by health-insurance giant Aetna’s decision to move its corporate headquarters away from the city, which was once proudly called “the Insurance Capital of the World.”
And unfortunately for the struggling capital, political discord involving both lame-duck Gov. Dannel Malloy and leaders in the state legislature suggests that an agreement to save the city won’t be forthcoming.
State legislators won’t return from recess until next week. But according to the Connecticut Mirror legislative leaders have yet to reach a budget deal with Malloy after failing to pass one in late June, forcing the governor to fund the state’s operations using emergency measures, slashing funding for municipal services across the state.
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