Rating agency downgrades Hartford’s bonds, cites budget woes

Hartford skyline

HARTFORD — A major rating agency has downgraded the credit rating of Hartford, saying Connecticut’s capital city lacks a credible plan to balance its budget and fix future projected deficits.

S&P Global Ratings announced Thursday it was lowering Hartford’s rating on general obligation bonds by four notches, from A-plus to BBB.

S&P credit analyst Timothy Little says the agency also issued a “negative outlook” for Hartford, adding there’s “uncertainty regarding the city’s ability to enact deficit migration measures, coupled with the significant budget gaps the city projects for the next five years.”

Democratic Mayor Luke Bronin, elected last year, says the agency’s action reflects what he’s been saying for months: Hartford can’t cut or tax its way out of this fiscal crisis.

Bronin has been pushing for regional financial help for Hartford.