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Connecticut’s Spending Problem Extends to Cities

February 23, 2017 By Staff
Connecticut’s Spending Problem Extends to Cities

Will state leaders ever have enough money?

Despite a bleak budget outlook, Connecticut’s leaders can’t stop spending taxpayer money. Gov. Dan Malloy’s budget allots $50 million in borrowed money for bonding Hartford-to-Springfield rail development:

The $50 million that the state Bond Commission approved earlier this month will help pay for adding 4 miles of second track between Hartford and Windsor. It will cover preliminary design costs for the new stations in Enfield, North Haven, Newington and West Hartford as well as improvements at the Windsor and Windsor Locks stops.

While the capital city, Hartford, faces millions in a budget shortfall, Malloy has also called for $250 million in state money for renovation of the XL Center. Meanwhile, city leaders still have not opened a baseball stadium that has cost taxpayers $71 million dollars so far, leaving one Hartford councilman to call for it to be sold before even opening:

Deutsch, a vocal critic of the project since its inception in 2014, is proposing to unload Dunkin’ Donuts Park at a price equal to the total cost of development, plus 6 percent. The city put the stadium’s price tag at $71 million so far, but the final amount is not yet known.

Spending amid budget crises is not just a state activity, though. Many of Connecticut’s mismanaged cities can’t stop spending, either. Bridgeport’s budget woes didn’t prevent city officials from green-lighting workers from getting $1.2 million in “thank you” raises.

Maybe Malloy didn’t know how to respond to new rumors of businesses leaving, but that may not be the hardest question the governor has to answer in 2017. As Connecticut stands on its own fiscal cliff, will the state ever have enough money?