Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin sent a letter to Governor Dannel Malloy and state lawmakers on Thursday warning that his city will run out of money in about 60 days and may be forced to file for bankruptcy if the state fails to approve a new budget.
“The heart of this letter is not just laying out the timeline. The heart of this letter is that we are asking the state to work with us to achieve a truly sustainable, long-term, comprehensive solution. We are not interested in patches, we are not interested in short-term bailouts, we are not interested in band-aids.”
Bronin is urging Governor Malloy and state lawmakers to not only hurry up and get to a budget deal, but also to include in the deal better compensation to cities for the loss of property taxes from state-owned facilities and other tax-exempt institutions.
He says this is one of a number of steps that would help Hartford become solvent.
“We are asking for the state, to a minimum, fully fund the payments in lieu of taxes formula that’s been on the state books for many, many, years, but has been dramatically underfunded. And it’s worth noting that that formula, which is underfunded, would still disadvantage Hartford because it treats state properties less favorably than it treats colleges. And as you see, the capital city has the highest concentration of state property.”
In the meantime, Governor Malloy has come up with a new budget plan that he says would restore some state aid to cities and towns that he had slashed in a previous proposal. Legislative leaders say they’ll wait to see all the details. House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz has said he’ll schedule a budget vote for next Thursday, September 14.
Connecticut has been without budget since July 1, and Malloy is in charge of state spending under limited executive authority.