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Hartford Lifeline: Connecticut is Poised to Bail Out Its Struggling Capital

In September, we reported on the possible bankruptcy of Connecticut’s capital city and questioned whether anything short of a State-led bailout could save the City from its crippling deficit and mounting debt service payments.  Recent news reports suggest that the State is finally ready to come to the rescue.  In fact, State assistance was appropriated in November with the passage of a budget that allocated tens of millions of dollars more to the struggling city.  Now, it appears that the details are about to be finalized: Hartford has asked for as much as $20 million per year from the State to assist with debt service payments and another $20 million or more from a rainy-day fund that the State has set aside for struggling cities and towns.  Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has repeatedly warned that the City would consider a bankruptcy filing in the absence of financial assistance from the State, an outcome that now seems far less likely.  In exchange for the aid from the State, the City has agreed to monitoring by an oversight board appointed by the legislature and the governor.