July 9, 2018

Hartford receives $10M insurer donations; budgets for ‘18-’19

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Hartford City Hall, 550 Main St.
HBJ File Photo
The Hartford has said its $3.3 million contribution was made to the Hartford Public Library.

Hartford officials on Monday confirmed receipt of a $10 million donation from Hartford's largest insurers, which pledged to financially support the city if it got its fiscal house in order.

Mayor Luke Bronin says the city received the combined $10 million payment from Aetna, The Hartford and Travelers Cos. The funds are included in the city's 2018-19 fiscal year budget to support the Hartford Public Library, law enforcement and recreation.

In March 2017, the leaders of the insurance giants penned a short opinion piece in the Hartford Courant offering $50 million to Hartford over five years if the city, which faced years of mounting debt, improved its fiscal status.

Insurance officials last month said they made the first of the five-year contribution after state lawmakers approved a long-term bailout plan for the city, in which the state has agreed to pay off approximately $550 million in Hartford's general obligation debt over the next two to three decades. With interest, the amount could rise.

"Along with deep cuts to municipal spending, big contributions by our labor unions, and a new partnership with the state of Connecticut, the commitment of these three companies allows us to project fiscal stability for the next five years," the mayor said. "We now have to use that period of stability to focus on growth and true long-term sustainability for our Capital City.

Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini, The Hartford's CEO Christopher J. Swift and Travelers CEO Alan D. Schnitzer on Monday again pledged their commitment to being a part of a comprehensive and sustainable fiscal solution for Hartford.

The insurers said they will continue monitoring the city's progress and work with the mayor to find long-term financial solutions.

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