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MAYOR BRONIN RESPONDS TO STATE REPUBLICAN BUDGET

MAYOR BRONIN RESPONDS TO STATE REPUBLICAN BUDGET

HARTFORD, CONN (April 20, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin responded to the budget plan released by Republicans at the State Capitol.

“Along with deep cuts, dramatic labor concessions, and a contribution from our biggest companies, the assistance agreement reached with the State makes it possible for the city of Hartford to be solvent and stable in the near-term, as we work toward longer-term sustainability and growth,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Last fall, I sent a letter to legislative leaders saying that there were only two responsible paths to fiscal stability – bankruptcy, or a new long-term partnership with the State.  I also said that the worst, most irresponsible thing we could possibly do is to keep the city afloat for two years without building a long-term solution – because while the bankruptcy of the Capital City would be bad for Connecticut, keeping the Capital City in permanent crisis would be worse.  There should be no confusion about the fact that, if the State were to roll back the assistance included in last year’s budget, Hartford would be back in the same position of insolvency and crisis.  This should not be a partisan issue.  You cannot run a city with the tax base of a suburb, and we will not grow Connecticut without building stable, strong cities.  You cannot talk about wanting to keep young people in Connecticut, wanting to attract jobs and investment, wanting to promote economic growth, and at the same time propose budgets that would devastate your largest job center and your Capital City – right at the moment when it’s beginning to experience a revitalization.” 

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MAYOR BRONIN SUBMITS RECOMMENDED BUDGET, HIGHLIGHTS SAVINGS AND CORE SERVICES

MAYOR BRONIN SUBMITS RECOMMENDED BUDGET, HIGHLIGHTS SAVINGS AND CORE SERVICES

HARTFORD, CONN. (April 16, 2018) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin submitted his Fiscal Year 2019 Recommended Budget (FY2019) to the City Council for their review and approval.  This budget retains $27 million in cuts to services and personnel made in the last two budgets, in addition to $10 million in achieved labor savings.  The budget delivers core services, with a priority on public safety, basic quality of life, and support for the most vulnerable residents.

Overall, this budget calls for total spending that’s $2.3 million less than last year’s adopted budget, excluding debt and capital investment expenditures.  The budget is balanced without any one-time revenues, without any asset sales, and without deferring pension obligations.  The budget does not include any new borrowing.

The Council must approve a budget by May 31, 2018.  Please see the Mayor’s budget message and executive summary here.

“This is another no-frills budget that brings us another step towards stability,” said Mayor Bronin.  “In the last two years, we’ve made tens of millions of dollars in difficult cuts, and we’ve achieved significant labor savings in partnership with our unions, saving us $10 million for the coming year.  Combined with those efforts, the Contract Assistance agreement authorized in last year’s bipartisan budget and concluded with the State last month, along with the financial commitment of three of our largest insurance companies, gives us an opportunity to put the City of Hartford on stable fiscal ground for the first time in many years.  We now need to use this period of stability to focus on the long-term goal of true sustainability and strength — which depends upon continued discipline, continued savings, continued partnership, and significant economic growth.”

The budget includes:

·      Retained cuts of $27 million to services and personnel made in Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.

·      $10 million in savings from labor agreements with four of the City’s largest unions.

·      Funding for a workforce that is 68% smaller than the workforce of thirty years ago (FY1989), and eighty positions smaller compared to Fiscal Year 2015.

·      Necessary funding for women’s shelters, No Freeze shelters, the McKinney shelter for men, and for summer youth employment and crisis intervention.

·      Funding for the hiring of approximately 60 new police officers to make up for attrition, and continued support for two large classes of firefighters, totaling 70 recruits, from last fiscal year.  Funding for firefighters comes primarily from an $11 million, multi-year federal grant the City won last year.

·      Funding for two zoning enforcement officials, which are necessary as the City currently has none, as well as funding for a Residential Rental Licensing Program phased in over multiple years, pending City Council Approval, to improve the quality of the City’s housing stock.  Both initiatives are funded by reallocating existing funding from departmental salary savings, and revenue from the Residential Rental Licensing Program is expected to cover the costs of staffing in future years.

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MAYOR BRONIN, TREASURER CLOUD RESPOND TO S&P UPGRADE

MAYOR BRONIN, TREASURER CLOUD RESPOND TO S&P UPGRADE

HARTFORD, CONN. (April 16, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin and Treasurer Adam Cloud released the statements below after S&P Global Ratings raised its rating on the City of Hartford’s general obligation bonds multiple notches, from “CCC” to “A” on Friday.  Two weeks ago, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the rating on Hartford’s general obligation bonds thirteen notches, from “Caa3” to “A2.”

“The second dramatic ratings upgrade in two weeks is another signal of that the comprehensive approach to Hartford’s fiscal crisis, combining tough decisions at the local level with a new partnership with the State of Connecticut, is the right one,” said Mayor Bronin.  “We’ve made tens of millions of dollars of spending cuts, achieved $10 million in labor savings over the past year, engaged our business community, and pushed for a new, long-term partnership with the State of Connecticut — coupling long-term assistance with long-term accountability.  Working together to achieve solvency and stability, our focus will turn to the important work of securing true long-term sustainability and strength in the years ahead.”  

“The action taken Friday reflects the significance of the contract agreement that was executed and that without it, the city’s path toward fiscal stability would not be possible,” said Treasurer Cloud.  “I want to thank the legislature as well as the State Treasurer and Secretary Barnes for their steadfast commitment to ensuring that our Capital City remains solvent.”

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