FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision

 

Wesley Seixas,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 91-193

 

President Pro Tem of the Senate, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives,

 

Respondents February 19, 1992

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 11, 1991, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter of complaint filed on July 11, 1991, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the Governor and members of the General Assembly met privately on July 3, 4 and 5, 1991, in violation of 1-18a and 1-21, G.S.

 

3. By letter filed with the Commission on July 31, 1991, the complainant amended his complaint to name as respondents Governor Weicker, Thomas D'Amore, Stanley Twardy, Senator Larson, Senator O'Leary, Speaker Balducci, Representative Frankel, Senator Eads, Representative Krawiecki, and unidentified legislative staff members.

 

4. By letter filed with the Commission on September 26, 1991, the complainant withdrew his complaint against Governor Weicker and Stanley Twardy.

 

5. It is found that the respondents together with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, legislative branch staff members, executive branch staff members, and certain other persons gathered on July 3, 4 and 5, 1991, for a "budget summit" to discuss budget and spending plans, and methods of taxation.

 

Docket #FIC 91-193 Page 2

 

6. It is found that the budget summit was not open to the public.

 

7. The complainant maintains that the respondents constitute a quorum of the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Legislative Management, and that the budget summit was a meeting of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management.

 

8. The Commission takes administrative notice of the fact that the Joint Committee on Legislative Management comprises 26 members.

 

9. Section 2-17b, G.S., provides in relevant part that the Joint Committee on Legislative Management:

 

shall be responsible for the business and fiscal affairs of the general assembly including the coordination and management of legislative affairs and the supervision and approval of any and all legislative expenditures from all appropriations to the general asssembly, legislative commissions and legislative interim committees.

 

10. It is also found that at the Special Session beginning June 5, 1991, the House and Senate of the General Assembly adopted new joint rules specifically deleting all committees, including the Joint Committee on Legislative Management.

 

11. It is concluded that the July 3, 4 and 5 budget summit described in paragraph 5, above, did not constitute a meeting of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management within the meaning of 1-18a(b), G.S.

 

12. It is also found that the respondents participated in the budget summit in their capacities as leaders of the Democratic and Republican caucuses of the House and Senate, to which caucuses they separately reported following the budget summit.

 

13. It is concluded that the respondents did not constitute a de facto committee or subcommittee of the General Assembly.

 

14. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-18a(b) or 1-21, G.S., by participating in the budget summit described in paragraph 5, above.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1. The complaint is dismissed.

 

Docket #FIC 91-193 Page 3

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of February 19, 1992.

 

 

Debra L. Rembowski

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC 91-193 Page 4

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

Wesley Seixas

15 Knoll Drive

Harwinton, CT 06091

 

President Pro Tem of the Senate, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives

c/o Assistant Attorney General Henry S. Cohn

55 Elm Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

 

Debra L. Rembowski

Acting Clerk of the Commission