AGO 1991-017.

Case Date:May 10, 1991
Connecticut Attorney General Opinions 1991. AGO 1991-017. May 10, 1991Opinion No. 1991-017Dr. Andrew McKirdyExecutive DirectorBoard of Trustees of Community Technical Colleges61 Woodland StreetHartford, CT 06105 Dear Dr. McKirdy: We are writing in response to your letter dated January 9, 1991, in which you request our advice about the constitutionality of the residency requirement contained in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10a-77(d)(2), a statute concerning tuition waives for eligible veterans. In an opinion issued on April 11, 1990, we concluded that the residency requirements and waiting periods contained in three statutes concerning veteran benefits (Conn. Gen. Stat. 27-103, 27-104, and 27-122b) are unconstitutional. You are asking whether, in light of that opinion, the residency requirement contained in Section 10a-77(d) is also unconstitutional. For the reasons discussed below, it is our opinion that it is. The statute in question requires the Board of Trustees of Community-Technical Colleges to waive tuition for veterans who served during time of war and have been accepted for admission, provided the veteran was a Connecticut resident when he entered the service or as a Connecticut resident while serving and is a resident at the time he is accepted for admission. Thus, any veteran who establishes residence in Connecticut after serving in the armed forced during time of war is not and never will be eligible for the tuition waiver mandated by Section 10a-77(d)(2). Residency requirements which simply distinguish between residents and nonresidents are permissible. Residency requirements which treat established residents differently depending upon when they moved into the state raise constitutional questions based on the right to equal protection of the laws. Attorney General of New York v. Soto-Lopez, 476 U.S. 898 (1986). Our opinion of last year provided a thorough review of the equal protection analysis to which residency requirements have been subjected by the United States Supreme Court. for purposes of the immediate response we will summarize our earlier analysis and attach a copy of our 1990 opinion for your reflection. An equal protection challenge to a statute or regulation basically asserts that similarly situated citizens are being treated differently and demands that the state justify its reasons for enacting a law that...

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