This surreal chapter at Shelton High School very nearly roped the General Assembly into what should have been a non-news issue. It also underscores the need for more teachers and fewer administrators over at Shelton High. Conincidentally, the Blogster is a little concerned this morning that the administration of the school has been so bogged down in education speak, that the exact nature of their remarks have continually bordered on the indecipherable. Was James tate banned from the senior prom? You could barely tell. Was he allowed, ultimately, to go. Yeah, but they…just…couldn’t…communicate it straight up. Few people this morning are breathing bigger sighs of relief that Rep. Jason Perillo, R-Shelton, Rep. Sean Williams, R-Watertown and Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-Shelton, who were prepared to offer legislation that would have forced the administrators to let James go to the event. The city school system has been rightly and richly embarrassed internationally for trying to stifle the harmless romantic action of a teenage boy. Let’s see: bullying, inarticulate (did we say over-paid) school administrators; bomb plots at the high school; the Times Square bomber who lived over on Long Hill. Is the PCB-laden Housatonic River being diverted into the public water supply?
Archive for May, 2011
How divorced from reality are the inarticulate, narrow-minded Shelton High School administrators? Let us count the Tates.
Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, speaking to reporters in the Capitol Press Room on Thursday afternoon, said he was disappointed that the high court did not rule on the merits of his complaint that the state was borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars in a process called securitizing: borrowing against anticipated long-term tax revenue generated by consumer electric taxes.
“I was glad that we brought the suit, in that it brought attention to the issue, which I think most of the people of Connecticut weren’t aware of otherwise,” Markley said. “I think we’ve put the Legislature on notice that when they do things that are legally suspect that they can be held responsible. The last thing I’d say is when we started this case, the state was going to borrow I think it was $800 million and it’s now down to something, I think, under $200 million. So in that sense I feel like we have saved the state 10 years of borrowing some hundreds of millions of dollars, which they otherwise would have obligated ourselves to. So I don’t feel bad about it that way. We never ever did get to the underlying issues in the suit. It was originally dismissed by the Superior Court on a question of exhaustion of administrative remedies. That dismissal was dismissed and it was redismissed on the grounds of sovereign immunity. They never actually confronted the underlying questions of the equity of the tax and the appropriateness of the agency collecting it.”
If House, Senate, have to legislate on Shelton Prom Boy, would “give the kid the money” be too far behind?
James Tate won’t miss much if he doesn’t go to the Shelton High senior prom. Chances are, the dance will be lousy with the kind of neolithic deans and administrators who crush imagination and romanticism and with whom he might have to trade phony pleasantries. As it is, he’s leaving the place a smoldering ruin, a target of international ridicule. That’s the best revenge. And no one has been physically hurt.
The Blogster remembers another young man, Clarence Jackson, who was a day late in finally finding a multi-million-dollar lottery ticket. Over the years, attempts by the Legislature to “give the kid the money” have failed. Actually, the Blogster is wondering: If the General Assembly gets into the act to help Tate, the resulting law may not only force Shelton High to buy his tux and rent the limo, but will include a giveback to Jackson, too. Hey, it could happen.
From the state high court’s decision against Sen. Joe Markley’s lawsuit against the state budget process. Here is the bottom line from the decision and footnotes.
“The plaintiff’s action arose from a financing order
As19In the absence of a substantial claim that the defendantsaction is barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity,1The plaintiff appealed from the judgment of the trial court to the Appellate2Due to the importance of the issues in this appeal, we granted the request3See Office of Legislative Research, Research Report No. 2009-R-0090,4Section 11 (c) of P.A. 98-28 also permitted the securitization of the fee,5Public Act 98-28, § 19 (e), did provide, however, that if a new municipal6Although the plaintiff represented himself at trial, he was assisted by7The plaintiff initially sought a temporary injunction prohibiting the defendants8Although the defendants’ motion to dismiss technically applied only to9Although the trial court’s discussion of the sovereign immunity defenseBacon Construction Co. v. Dept. of Public, 294 Conn. 695, 706, 987 A.2d 348 (2010); the issue is properly beforeFigueroa v. C & S Ball Bearing, 237 Conn. 1, 4, 675 A.2d 84510With regard to the trial court’s conclusion that it lacked jurisdiction11In its memorandum of decision, the trial court, citing Pamela B. v. Ment,
issued by the defendants pursuant to No. 10-179 of the
2010 Public Acts (P.A. 10-179), requiring that the state’s
two investor-owned electric power companies, Connecticut
Light and Power Company (CL&P) and United
Illuminating Company (United) (jointly, distributors),
continue to charge their rate paying customers a fee
that would otherwise have expired, with the proceeds
going to the state’s general fund. The plaintiff alleged
that the financing order constituted an illegal tax on
the distributors’ customers, issued in excess of the
defendants’ statutory authority and in violation of the
customers’ constitutional rights…
discussed previously, however, the plaintiff’s arguments
before the trial court focused exclusively on his
claims that the department is barred by its enabling
statute from imposing taxes, and that imposing taxes
only on certain ratepayers violates his right to equal
protection. Nowhere did he allege that while the
charges themselves are legal, the defendants somehow
misallocated them between the customers of CL&P,
United and the municipal electric utilities.
have exceeded their statutory authority, the
and, therefore, the trial court properly dismissed the
action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
The judgment is affirmed.
In this opinion the other justices concurred.
Court, and we granted the defendants’ motion to transfer the appeal to this
court pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199 (c) and Practice Book § 65-2.
of the office of consumer counsel to appear as amicus curiae and to submit
a brief in support of the position advocated by the plaintiff.
‘‘Municipal Electric Utilities’’ (February 11, 2009), available at http://
www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0090.htm (last visited May 12, 2011) (copy
contained in the file of this case in the Supreme Court clerk’s office).
allowing the distributors to recoup their stranded costs at the outset.
electric utility were established or an existing municipal electric utility
entered the competitive market, any of the distributors’ previous customers
who transitioned to municipal service would be required to pay the fee that
they would otherwise have paid to CL&P or United.
counsel on his appellate brief and counsel argued the matter on his behalf
before this court.
from enforcing the order, as well as an order ‘‘in the nature of mandamus’’
requiring that the defendants revoke the order. Although the trial court
questioned whether mandamus was the proper instrument for achieving the
plaintiff’s desired end, the parties have not pressed this point on appeal. In
any event, the precise nature of the remedy sought is not material to the
resolution of the present appeal.
the plaintiff’s initial, two count complaint, the trial court dismissed the entire
action when it granted the motion. At the December 20, 2010 hearing, the
court notified the parties that, because the issues of exhaustion and sovereign
immunity are subject matter jurisdictional, the court would proceed
as if the motion to dismiss covered the amended, four count complaint. In
its memorandum of decision, the court also made clear that its conclusion
that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and to
overcome the sovereign immunity defense applied to the amended complaint.
might have been more definitive, the memorandum of decision makes clear
that the court considered the defense to be meritorious. Moreover, both
parties have briefed and argued the issue on appeal. In any event, because
‘‘[t]he doctrine of sovereign immunity implicates subject matter jurisdiction’’;
(internal quotation marks omitted)
(1996); and, accordingly, we must address it.
because the plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, the
plaintiff argues on appeal that pursuing remedies with the department would
have been futile because P.A. 10-179, § 129 (b) (1), makes the order irrevocable.
In their brief, the defendants reply that pursuing a remedy with the
department might nevertheless have been appropriate because the agency
could have developed a factual record for later use by a reviewing court.
At oral argument before this court, however, the defendants conceded that
exhaustion was not a proper basis for dismissing the plaintiff’s claims. We
agree. Because we conclude that the plaintiff’s claims are barred by the
doctrine of sovereign immunity, and, therefore, that the trial court lacked
subject matter jurisdiction, we need not analyze this issue further.
244 Conn. 296, 328, 709 A.2d 1089 (1998), indicated that, even if the plaintiff
succeeded in establishing that the defendants had acted illegally, the defendants
would remain immune from suit unless the injunctive relief sought by
Statement from Markley:
“Our system of justice is the envy of the world, and rightly so, but that doesn’t mean they always rule correctly. Although the Supreme Court didn’t accept the Superior Court’s grounds for dismissal—failure to exhaust administrative remedies—they turned to another ground—sovereign immunity, the principle that the state cannot be sued without permission.
Legislation provoked by James Tate’s suspension from the Shelton High School senior prom will not go ahead in the House today, as they have embarked on an afternoon-long excursion into the issue of in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. That should eat up the hours before the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus’s annual Spring Fling tonight.
Rep. Jason Perillo, R-Shelton, and Rep. Sean Williams, R-Watertown are plotting an amendment on another education bill that could pressure Shelton High administrators into relenting under viral international interest in its overreaction to Tate’s imaginative, non-destructive invitation to a fellow student that he posted to the side of the high school.
Perillo, whose district includes the high school, hopes that the viral suspension can be resolved before the Legislature can act.
“This does give us a little time,” Perillo said in an interview outside the House chamber. “My hope is that at the local level, cooler heads will prevail.”
First-term Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, would be the upstairs sponsor of the amendment, if the issue does indeed lead to General Assembly debate on the autonomy of school administrators.
Cafero, R-Norwalk, and other Republicans and exactly four hours into the debate on the pro-union “captive audience” bill, which they say would increase the cost of doing business in the state. “If you don’t have a business, you don’t have any employees whose rights you have to defend,” Cafero said in a celebration of corporate existentialism. Republicans were overwhelmed by Democrats when they attempted to introduce an amendment that would end corporate taxes. Democrats ruled it not german, then voted down an appeal of the chair. Dems have a 99-52 majority.
People who palm themselves off as board-certified behavior analysts could be charged with felonies under legislation just unanimously approved in the Senate. It moves to the House for final action. The new penalty would be up to five years in prison and a $500 fine for each instance of patient contact or consultation. The legislation was the result of a Norwalk-area case.
The Senate, after a brief debate, just agreed to put a bill on their consent calendar, which amounts to final action on legislation that would grant high school diplomas to people who dropped out of high school during the Korean War to serve in the military. It’s similar to a bill passed several years ago that gave high school diplomas (they are not degrees, they are diplomas) to World War II veterans who dropped out of high school. Sen. Steve Cassano, D-Manchester, had a great suggestion: to similarly honor the women who dropped out of high school to work for the war effort back in the first half of the 1940s. “I think we should be recognizing those women that made that sacrifice in World War II so that we could have the materials, the food, the home front that was safe because of what they did,” Cassano said. The bill moves next to Gov. Malloy.