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MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE DOWNGRADES HARTFORD, CONN

HARTFORD, Conn. (April 20, 2016)This week, Moody’s Investors Service announced that it has assigned a downgraded rating to the City of Hartford. This serves as the second downgrade from the rating agency in the past 10 months. The announcement also comes on the heels of Standard & Poor’s assigning the state’s capital city with a downgraded rating last month.

“We’ve been anticipating and are not surprised by Moody’s rating downgrade,” Mayor Bronin said. “The rating agencies are looking at the same numbers we are, and we’ve been very open and transparent about Hartford’s severe fiscal challenges. This rating action should serve as one more indication that we need to tackle our challenges head-on and act quickly to make the changes necessary to get our city on a path to fiscal health.”

Moody’s noted that the City of Hartford’s outlook remains negative. The rating agency said that the negative outlook reflects its expectation that the city will remain challenged to restore and maintain fiscal stability given its limited revenue raising ability, elevated fixed cost burden, and a reliance on non-recurring revenue sources. The outlook also incorporates the city's significant reliance on state aid, which could adversely impact the city.

• Click here to read more on Moody’s credit opinion: http://bit.ly/1pgDl2P.

Despite the downgrade, the ratings agency mentioned Mayor Bronin’s FY2017 budget proposal, highlighting that it benefits from state aid, cost savings, relies on employee concessions, reductions in workforce, and various departmental cuts. In addition, Moody’s states that the proposal uses one-time measures to a lesser extent than past budgets to address operational challenges.

“None of the proposed cuts are easy,” said Mayor Bronin. “This budget makes the cuts we can responsibly make, while continuing to deliver vital services to the residents of our city. We need to get serious about finding sustainable savings.”

• Click here to read Mayor Bronin’s budget proposal for FY2017: http://bit.ly/1MFmB0q.

During his budget process, Mayor Bronin has highlighted that even with the deep cuts and substantial labor concessions included in his recommended budget, Hartford will continue to face dire fiscal challenges, including a projected deficit of at least $30 million in FY2018.

“If we are going to be a healthy city that is delivering basic city services and investing in our future, there is a limit to the cuts that can be made and there is a limit to the tax revenue our small city can support,” said Mayor Bronin. “We’re going to do everything we can to get our house in order, but we must also build a statewide and regional consensus that Hartford’s success matters to the entire state, because our looming fiscal challenges are bigger than we can overcome alone.”

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