Attorney General: Opinions
Opinions

2000 Formal Opinions
11/30/2000The Honorable Patricia Wilson-Coker, Department of Social Services, 2000-033 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  In connection with the Department of Social Services’ (the "Department") Elder Financial Abuse Project (the "Project"), your Department requested an opinion as to whether an employee of a financial institution who suspects that an elderly customer is the victim of financial exploitation may disclose the elderly customer’s financial information to the Department’s Protective Services for the Elderly (PSE).
 
11/29/2000Philip E. Austin, University of Connecticut, 2000-032 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  Watershed lands are among Connecticut’s most precious natural resources -- a legacy for future generations that we have a responsibility to preserve and protect. Besides their vital role in protecting the purity of the state’s water supplies, the natural beauty of these lands, undisturbed and tranquil, provides a refuge and respite from development and commercialism. These pristine lands are irreplaceable; once developed they are forever lost.
 
11/28/2000Joxel Garcia, M.D., Commissioner, Department of Public Health, 2000-031 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This is in response to your request for a formal opinion of the Attorney General regarding the ability of the Department of Public Health ("Department") to access information contained in the personnel files of employees of institutions licensed by the Department. The Department's inspectors have recently been refused access to institutional employee personnel files when conducting inspections at a hospital. The hospital asserted that unless the Department issued an "administrative summons", the records could not be released unless consent of the employee was obtained. You also asked whether such information would be subject to release by the Department pursuant to a Freedom of Information request.
 
11/28/2000Honorable James T. Fleming, Department of Consumer Protection, 2000-030 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This is in response to your request for an opinion on whether the two-store limit rule in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 30-48a bars the issuance of a package store permit to Jaimax, Inc. for premises at 701 North Colony Road, Wallingford, CT.
 
9/28/2000The Honorable Amalia Vazquez Bzdyra, Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 2000-029 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  I am writing in response to the letter of August 12, 2000 requesting an opinion on whether a contract between the Connecticut Department of Correction (Department) and the Virginia Department of Correction will terminate on October 21, 2000 for noncompliance with the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stats. §§ 4a-60 and 4a-60a.
 
9/26/2000Honorable Gene Gavin, Department of Revenue Services, 2000-028 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  In your letter dated August 31, 2000, you asked whether the state can recover interest from the United States Postal Service as a result of the late delivery of certified mail containing tax returns and $140 million in tax payments. In analyzing this issue, it must be noted that any action against the United States Postal Service is, in fact, an action against the United States.
 
8/31/2000The Honorable John J. Armstrong and The Honorable Barbara Waters, Department of Correction and Department of Administrative Services, 2000-027 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This opinion responds to Commissioner Armstrong’s request for advice regarding the Department of Correction's leave policy for employees who participate in the military reserves or National Guard. Because his question concerns the implementation of a General Notice issued by the Department of Administrative Services, we address this advice to both of you.
 
8/31/2000Marc S. Ryan, Secretary, Office of Policy and Management, 2000-026 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have written to this office seeking an interpretation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-63c(a), a statutory provision concerning the procedure local tax assessors are to employ in the valuation of commercial and industrial property used "primarily for purposes of producing rental income." Specifically, you ask whether the term "primarily" as used in this provision means "that more than 50% of the area of the structure is used for the purpose of producing rental income, or does 'primarily' mean that more than 50% of the income from the property is a result of rental income?" You posed a second question that stated: "If the second interpretation is correct, would gross or net income be used to determine the primary purpose?"
 
8/31/2000Honorable Arthur J. Rocque, Jr., Commissioner of Environmental Protection, 2000-025 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked for our opinion on whether towns can spray for mosquitoes in areas in which the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) does not intend to spray and whether towns can prevent the state from conducting its own spraying program within town boundaries.
 
8/4/2000Ms. Nancy Wyman, State Comptroller, 2000-024 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked two related questions about the State Employee Campaign for Charitable Giving (the "campaign"), which is an annual campaign "to raise funds from state employees for charitable and public health, welfare, environmental, conservation and services purposes." Conn. Gen. Stat. § 5-262(a)(3). Specifically, you ask whether the State Employee Campaign Committee (the "Committee") may prohibit a federation1 from participating in the campaign if one or more of the federation's member agencies solicits from state employees during the designated campaign period other than through the campaign. You have also asked whether the Committee may require a federation that seeks to participate in the campaign to certify to the Committee that it will refrain from soliciting charitable contributions from state employees during the designated campaign period other than through the campaign.
 
7/26/2000The Honorable Gene Gavin, Department of Revenue Services, 2000-023 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You recently requested an opinion from this office regarding the following question: Whether DRS may disclose information including the names and/or addresses of rebate check payees who, as a result of the U.S. Postal Services or other reasons, did not receive their checks.
 
7/26/2000Thomas Rotunda, Division of Special Revenue, 2000-022 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This is in response to your request for an expedited opinion on the proposal of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) to participate in a new multi-state lottery game which, in part, lets players appear on a televised game show to compete and win.
 
7/24/2000The Honorable Denise L. Nappier, Treasurer, State of Connecticut, 2000-021 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You recently requested an opinion from this office regarding the following question: Whether bonds issued in 1784 became a responsibility of the United States Government at the time of the adoption of the Constitution around 1790, provided claim was made within ten years of the due date.
 
6/30/2000Jeffrey Garfield, Esq., Elections Enforcement Commission, 2000-020 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked what regulatory authority the Elections Enforcement Commission ("EEC") has with respect to alleged violations of Conn. Gen. Stat. §2-30a(b), which provides in relevant part: "No expenditure of state funds shall be made to influence electors to vote for or against any such proposed constitutional amendment."
 
5/23/2000Honorable Kevin B. Sullivan, Legislative Office Building, 2000-019 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked for advice regarding the legal consequences of the General Assembly's approval of a particular arbitration award. In your letter of May 10, 2000, you explained that the leadership of the General Assembly is considering calling a special session to approve a recent arbitration award between the State of Connecticut and the Administrative and Residual Union P-5 Bargaining Unit (hereinafter "A&R"), pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 5-278(b). Before the General Assembly will be able to convene to approve the award, however, you anticipate that the State will file in the superior court an application to modify or vacate it. You ask, therefore, what effect the General Assembly's approval of the award may have on the State's legal challenge to it.
 
5/11/2000Ms. Mary Ann Hanley, Office of Workforce Competitiveness, 2000-018 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  In your letter dated April 27, 2000 you requested a formal opinion as to whether the chairman of a council of government has the authority to sign on behalf of all the chief elected officials of a workforce investment area an agreement by which the council of government will administer and oversee federal Workforce Investment Act funds and activities.
 
5/3/2000Honorable Senator M. Adela Eads, State Capitol, 2000-017 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  I reviewed the questions that you have presented to me as follows: 1. Must an HMO medical plan, the terms and conditions of which contain a custodial care exception, offer a plan to the public, after receiving Department of Insurance approval, that: (a) meets the requirements of CGS 38a-553(c)(10), (b) complies with CGS 38a-478 et seq., as from time to time amended, and Article XXI of the Connecticut Constitution, and (c) does not use rehabilitation or improvement as criteria in determining whether care for disabled persons or persons suffering from biologically-based mental illnesses or nervous conditions is to be considered custodial? 2. Must the external appeal panel, acting pursuant to CGS 38a-478n, when reviewing appeals certified by the Department of Insurance and which construe or involve the custodial care exception (CGS 38a-553(c)(10)) as applied to disabled persons or persons suffering from biologically-based mental illnesses or nervous conditions (CGS 38a-478 et seq., as from time to time amended): (a) apply said CGS 38a-478 et seq. and Article XXI of the State Constitution, and (b) not use rehabilitation or improvement as tests for custodial care?
 
4/25/2000Mr. Marc S. Ryan, Office of Policy and Management, 2000-016 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked this office for our opinion as to the exact conditions under which the Waterbury Budget Advisory Council ceases to exist and whether Waterbury's positive fund balances for Fiscal Years 97, 98, and 99 trigger the sunset provisions. An interpretation of the method of dissolution (i.e., a vote of the WBAC members on dissolution) would also be welcomed.
 
4/18/2000Senator Coleman and Representative Davis, Legislative Office Building Room 2100, 2000-015 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  By letter dated March 28, 2000 you requested an opinion as to whether Substitute Senate Bill 311, "An Act Concerning The Observance of Martin Luther King Day," if enacted, would unconstitutionally impair a municipality's contracts with its employee collective bargaining units."
 
4/18/2000President Pro Temp. Sullivan and Speaker Lyons, Legislative Office Building, 2000-014 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This is in response to the letter from Representative Shawn T. Johnston dated February 4, 2000, inquiring whether the Governor can enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Veterans Memorial Casino Organization to allow it to operate high stakes bingo1 in Connecticut.
 
3/24/2000Marc S. Ryan, Secretary, Office of Policy and Management, 2000-013 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  Your letter of March 16, 2000, asks whether the South Central Regional Council of Governments ("SCRCOG") is a "political subdivision of the State" for purposes of applying for and receiving a "Brownfields" grant under a program funded by the federal Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA").
 
3/10/2000Honorable Arthur J. Rocque, Jr., Department of Environmental Protection, 2000-012 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked for an interpretation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 26-3 as regards DEP's authority to take any animal by whatever means reasonably necessary to carry out its functions, even if the means DEP intends to use is contrary to another statutory provision.
 
3/8/2000Honorable Valerie F. Lewis, Department of Higher Education, 2000-011 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  In your communication of December 27, 1999, you state that the Board of Trustees for the Community-Technical Colleges ("Board of Trustees") had voted earlier in 1999 to change its name and the names of each of its twelve colleges by reducing "regional community-technical college(s)" to "community college" in each title. You state that the Board of Trustees' action was based upon a "yearlong public relations study." On behalf of the Board of Governors for Higher Education ("Board of Governors") you asked whether the approval of the Board of Governors pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §10a-6 and/or of the General Assembly is required to effect legally these name changes.
 
3/7/2000Honorable Patricia A. Wilson-Coker, Department of Social Services, 2000-010 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This office previously responded to an inquiry concerning the authority of a Special Deputy Sheriff to serve a capias. At that time we provided an informal advice to the effect that the "better practice" was for a regular Deputy Sheriff to serve the capias, but that a Special Deputy Sheriff could assist, and suggested that it would be advisable to obtain legislative clarification with respect to what authority a Special Deputy Sheriff had. During the period since that informal advice the issue of what authority a Special Deputy Sheriff had in connection with serving a capias has continued to arise. Accordingly, you have asked us to issue a formal opinion on this question. We have carefully considered the relevant legal authorities.
 
3/7/2000Hon. George Jepsen, Majority Leader, State Senate, 2000-009 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have inquired whether the State has authority to establish standards for air emissions which are stricter than those established under the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et. seq. You have also inquired whether the cost of establishing more stringent standards must be borne by the State.
 
3/3/2000Honorable Nancy Wyman, State Comptroller, 2000-008 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked this Office for an opinion regarding the administration of health insurance benefits for retired state employees receiving workers' compensation payments. In your request, you mention a 1984 Attorney General's opinion [Op. Atty. Gen. No. 84-93, July 24, 1984] that advised the Comptroller that retired state employees receiving workers' compensation payments "must have health insurance maintained at the level provided for active state employees." You also cite a Comptroller policy dated September 16, 1985, which is based on the Attorney General's opinion.
 
2/21/2000Honorable Nancy Wyman, Office of the Comptroller, 2000-007 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked our opinion on whether a firefighter injured in the line of duty on April 5, 1997 is eligible for benefits from the Connecticut State Firefighters Association under the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 3-123, as amended by Public Act 98-263.
 
2/17/2000Mr. Charles P. Watras, Bradley International Airport Commission, 2000-005 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This is in response to your letter dated January 19, 2000, in which you request our opinion on whether the Department of Transportation ("DOT") has the authority to enter into major contracts regarding development at Bradley International Airport ("BIA") when the Bradley International Airport Commission ("Commission") believes that DOT has failed to fully cooperate with the Commission in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of Section 15-101s of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
2/17/2000John P. Burke, Department of Banking, 2000-006 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You have asked for our opinion as to whether Section 36a-158(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes violates the Commerce Clause of the Unites States Constitution or the Equal Protection Clauses of the state and federal constitutions as to an out-of-state state-chartered bank that wishes to establish an automated teller machine ("ATM") in this state.
 
2/10/2000Honorable Kevin B. Sullivan, President Pro Tempore, 2000-004 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This letter responds to yours of December 29, 1999, in which you ask this office for a formal opinion regarding the applicability and effect of Sections 26 and 45 of Public Act 99-2, June Special Session on tobacco settlement monies. Specifically, you have asked for an opinion "concerning whether Section 45 alters, in any way, the express provisions of Section 26 and, if so, the nature and extent to which it does."
 
1/31/2000Steven Weinberger, State Employees Retirement Commission, 2000-003 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  In your letter of September 9, 1999, you asked us whether an active judge participating in the Judges, Family Support Magistrates, and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System (hereinafter referred to as the judges retirement system) may concurrently receive a benefit from the State Employees Retirement Fund (SERF).
 
1/26/2000Ms. Cynthia Watts-Elder, CHRO Executive Director, 2000-002 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  This is in response to a request for advice from the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (hereinafter CHRO) which asked this office to consider the following questions: 1. Is the Criminal Justice Commission required to comply with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-68(a) which requires state agencies to file affirmative action plans with the CHRO? 2. Is the Criminal Justice Commission required to cooperate with the Division of Criminal Justice by providing information and support necessary to allow the Division of Criminal Justice to meet its responsibilities to file and implement an affirmative action plan pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-68?
 
1/21/2000Honorable John P. Burke , Department of Banking , 2000-001 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut
  You recently requested an opinion from this office regarding the following questions: 1. Is the filing of a notice and fee by a federally-registered investment adviser under Section 36b-6(d) or 36b-6(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes, for which a letter of acknowledgment is issued by the Department, considered to be a "license or permit to operate a business in this state" within the meaning of Section 31-286a(b) of the Workers' Compensation Act? 2. Is the filing of an annual notice renewal fee by such an investment adviser under Section 36b-6(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes considered the renewal of a license or permit within the meaning of Section 31-286a(b) of the Act? 3. If the response to either of the foregoing questions is yes, is Section 31-286a(b) of the Act preempted because it exceeds what is reserved to the states under Section 307(a) of NSMIA, viz., the filing by federally-registered investment advisers of any documents filed with the SEC? 4. If it is determined that Section 31-286a(b) of the Act is preempted, will the Department be liable for failure to comply with Section 31-286a(b) if it fails to obtain from federally-registered investment advisers sufficient evidence of current compliance with the workers' compensation insurance coverage requirements of Section 31-284?