State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) recently voted against legislation guaranteeing state payment of the capitol city’s debts for the next five years, a press release from Senate Republicans reported.
The bill approving revisions to the state’s contract with Hartford passed the state Senate and had moved to the state House of Representatives.
Martin said the legislation was in response to a contract the administration signed with Hartford that made the state responsible for more than $500 million in city debt over the next 30 years.
“When legislators were presented with a proposal to help our capitol city get back on its feet financially, the plan was to provide $40 million in assistance each year for two years,” Martin said, according to the press release. “So we acted in good faith to approve the plan as part of the bipartisan budget agreement last October. We never imagined the way the administration would subvert the legislative intent of the bill and place such a tremendous burden on Connecticut taxpayers.”
According to the release Martin said he voted against the five-year assistance plan approved by the Senate last week. He added that if he could have foreseen the position the administration would put the state in, he would have voted against the original Hartford bailout in October.
“The financial assistance being given to Hartford only postpones the inevitable actions that will be necessary to resolving the city’s financial problems,” he said in the press release. “It’s time for Hartford to follow the path of Detroit. The city/state needs to stop the band-aid fixes. Hartford needs to file for bankruptcy. I believe that is the only solution to the years of municipal mismanagement and is far more responsible than making state taxpayers pay for the bad decisions made by our capitol city.”
“Hartford is not the only Connecticut municipality to face financial difficulties,” he said in the press release, noting that when the City of Waterbury went to the legislature for financial assistance in the early 2000s, the response was to put the city under state oversight. No monetary help was given to Waterbury.
“Other communities in dire straits have tightened their belts, found efficiencies, and reduced expenditures. They did not come to the state for a handout,” Martin said. “Hartford needs to take the steps that are necessary to put its fiscal house in order. Bankruptcy can be the first step in Hartford’s rebirth and allow state government to focus on Connecticut’s financial stability, business growth, and job creation efforts.”
Sen. Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.