A bill pending the Connecticut General Assembly would allow a quasi-public state agency to issue bonds on behalf of out-of-state hospitals if they are owned by a Connecticut parent and located in a neighboring state.

Connecticut already has the highest level of bonded debt in the country: $5,402 per person. Including obligations to current and future retired government employees, the amount owed exceeds $40,000 per taxpayer.

The legislation, proposed by the higher education committee, would expand the availability of debt issued by the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority to projects in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

CHEFA helps private colleges and hospitals issue tax-free debt, lowering their interest costs.