PROVIDENCE, R.I. — While the need for struggling cities and towns to act now was a common refrain at The Bond Buyer's Symposium on Distressed Municipalities, roadblocks often stand in the way.

"The biggest takeaway from this conference I see is that the fates of municipalities are being tied so much to state legislation," said Ballard Spahr LLP partner and conference co-chairman William Rhodes as the two-day conference at the Omni Providence hotel concluded Tuesday.

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