HARTFORD, Conn. — Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Hartford’s bond rating for the second time in two weeks.

The Hartford Courant reports (http://cour.at/2fy7L2f ) the agency lowered Hartford’s rating on Tuesday from B- to CC. Standard & Poor’s has issued a stark report saying, “a default, a distressed exchange, or redemption appears to be a virtual certainty.”

The city has about $545 million in outstanding general obligation debt. Mayor Luke Bronin says Hartford needs at least $40 million in additional assistance from the state legislature to avoid bankruptcy.

Hartford’s largest bond insurer, Assured Guaranty, has offered to refinance the city’s debt. Bronin says he will not take a plan that would burden the city in the future.

Bronin needs permission from Gov. Dannel Malloy to seek Chapter 9 protection.

Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

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