The State Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the utility tax added to resident’s utility bills to help close the state’s deficit last year. If the court had ruled in favor of the lawsuit brought by state Sen. Joe Markley, the state would have had a new $432.5 million budget hole to close.

Markley said he was disappointed in the decision, but is glad he “put the state on notice” that someone is questioning the legality of budget-balancing plan in which the state borrowed money to be repaid by the tax. The Supreme Court affirmed the lower courts ruling that the lawsuit against the Department of Public Utility Control is barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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