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A03481 Summary:

BILL NOA03481
 
SAME ASSAME AS S03841
 
SPONSORBarclay
 
COSPNSRCrouch, Curran, DiPietro, Finch, Garbarino, Giglio, Hawley, Montesano, Oaks, Palmesano, Raia, Stec, Walter
 
MLTSPNSRArroyo, Friend, McDonough
 
Add 845-c, Exec L; amd 132 & 145-b, Soc Serv L
 
Requires the division of criminal justice services to check the wanted felon status and probation or parole violator status of people applying for public assistance.
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A03481 Actions:

BILL NOA03481
 
01/27/2017referred to governmental operations
01/03/2018referred to governmental operations
03/06/2018held for consideration in governmental operations
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A03481 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3481
 
SPONSOR: Barclay (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law and the social services law, in relation to requiring the division of criminal justice services to check the wanted felon status and other information of people applying for public assistance   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To authorize the Division of Criminal Justice Services to provide infor- mation to local social services districts and to require those social services districts to request such information regarding whether appli- cants for benefits are wanted felons or are absconding from parole or probation. Further, to require that where such applicants have fraudu- lently obtained public assistance benefits, such benefits must be repaid and subject to the same penalties as any other acts of fraud which are used to gain public assistance benefits.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 - adds a new section 845-C to the executive law requiring the commissioners of social service districts, or their authorized desig- nees, to request, from the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), information regarding whether applicants for public assistance benefits are wanted felons and /or whether they are probation or parole violators who are absconding from justice and authorizes DCJS to provide such information. § 2 - Amends Social Service law § 132(1) by adding new subparagraphs "a" through "e" directing that, in addition to the current investigation required by that section, the department of social services must inquire of the division of criminal justice services regarding whether appli- cants for public assistance are wanted felons or absconding from probation or parole. Where an applicant is found have such status, then this section directs the department to further investigate to determine whether the applicant knew, or had reason to know of his/her status, and when the applicant became or should have become aware of such status. This section also directs that benefits collected during the period of time that the fleeing felon or absconder from probation or parole knew or should have known of such status, must be repaid. § 3 - Amends Social Service Law § 145-B(1)(b)by adding a new subpara- graph (iii) to ensure that a deliberate false response to questions on the application for public assistance regarding an applicants status as a fleeing felon or probation or parole absconder is treated as fraud for purposes of that section and as such subject to the penalties set forth therein. § 4 Authorizes the commissioner of Social Services in consultation with the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services to promul- gate rules and regulations to implement this act. § 5 - Effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Currently, both federal and New York State law prohibits those who know that they are fleeing felons and those who are knowingly absconding from probation or parole from receiving public assistance benefits. However, at this time, there is no statutory requirement in place to ensure that applicants for public assistance are investigated to determine whether they ineligible based on this status. The "wanted felon" portion of the Federal Bureau of Investigation "National Crime Information Center"(NCIC) database is provided to NYS and is distributed to NYS law enforcement through E. Justice-by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). This bill is needed to authorize DCJS to provide this information to commissioners of the social services departments and to require that those departments make such an inquiry. It should be noted that in previous years, the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance worked with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to check if an applicant was a fleeing felon. However, follow- ing the federal ruling in Fowlkes v. Adamec it was determined that stat- ute was needed to give the local Social Service Departments the authori- ty to determine if an applicant is a fleeing felon. In addition, this bill is necessary to ensure that benefits paid based on fraudulent representations by the applicant, are fully recouped by NYS and that those applicants who fraudulently obtain benefits by delib- erately misrepresenting their ineligibility are subject to the same stringent penalties as for any other fraudulent representations. As a bonus, this legislation would also alert law enforcement to the location of fleeing felons and those absconding from probation or parole and thus enhance the effectiveness of our state's law enforcements efforts. This legislation was prompted by the arrest of Edward Moses made in Fulton, New York. In 2011, Moses was arrested in the parking lot of a local bank after a witness called the police to report suspicious behav- ior. When asked for proof of identity, Edward Moses provided the police with his New State Electronic Benefits Card given to individuals on public assistance or other social services programs. When the police ran his name, they immediately discovered that Moses was wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping and possession of a weapon in South Caroli- na. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this is an isolated event. Benefits are not designed for persons who are evading arrest or wanted criminals. This legislation seeks to protect the integrity of New York's public assistance programs by making sure that benefits are being directed to those who are truly in need of assistance.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: A. 8882 - Held for Committee in Government Operations. Same as S.6156-Passed Senate 6/20/12. 2013-2014: A. 4955 - Referred to Governmental Operations. Same as S.1956 01/29/15 A.4088 referred to governmental operations 01/06/16 A.4088 referred to governmental operations 03/08/16 A.4088 held for consideration in governmental operations. Same as S.2310   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: It is anticipated that any increase in investigation costs would be more than offset by savings attributable to disqualifying ineligible appli- cants and recouping payments already made to those who are ineligible. Further, prior to the Fowlkes decision, the Office of Temporary Disabil- ity Assistance had a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to collect this information.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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A03481 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3481
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 27, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. BARCLAY, CROUCH, CURRAN, DiPIETRO, FINCH, GARBAR-
          INO, GIGLIO, GRAF, HAWLEY, LUPINACCI, McKEVITT, McLAUGHLIN, MONTESANO,
          OAKS, PALMESANO, RAIA, SALADINO, STEC, WALTER -- Multi-Sponsored by --
          M.  of  A.  ARROYO, FRIEND, McDONOUGH -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Governmental Operations

        AN ACT to amend the executive  law  and  the  social  services  law,  in
          relation  to  requiring  the  division of criminal justice services to
          check the wanted felon status and other information of people applying
          for public assistance
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 845-c
     2  to read as follows:
     3    § 845-c. Requests for wanted felon information. 1.  Definitions.    As
     4  used in this section:
     5    (a)  "Authorized  person"  means a commissioner of social services, as
     6  defined in subdivision ten of section two of the social services law, or
     7  any one or more individuals designated by such commissioner  as  author-
     8  ized  to  request,  receive  and review information regarding the wanted
     9  felon portion of the national crime information center and/or, if appli-
    10  cable, information regarding an individual's violation  of  his  or  her
    11  probation or parole conditions pursuant to this section.  A commissioner
    12  of  social  services  may  designate  one  or more additional persons as
    13  necessary to serve as authorized persons pursuant to this section.
    14    (b) "Subject individual" means a person who  is  applying  for  public
    15  assistance  whose  wanted  felon  status or probation or parole violator
    16  status has been requested pursuant to section one hundred thirty-two  of
    17  the social services law.
    18    (c)  "Wanted felon" means a person who is fleeing or has fled to avoid
    19  prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, under the  laws
    20  of  the place from which the person flees, for a crime, or an attempt to
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05377-01-7

        A. 3481                             2
 
     1  commit a crime, which is a felony under the laws of the place from which
     2  the person flees.
     3    (d)  "Probation  or parole violator" means a person who is violating a
     4  condition of probation or parole and that person is currently an abscon-
     5  der from probation or parole supervision and a warrant alleging  such  a
     6  violation  is  outstanding,  or  the  person  has been found by judicial
     7  determination to have violated probation or  by  administrative  adjudi-
     8  cation  by the division of parole to have violated parole, or the person
     9  is violating a condition of probation or parole  imposed  under  federal
    10  law.
    11    2. Where an authorized person requests information regarding the want-
    12  ed felon status or the probation or parole violator status, of a subject
    13  individual  applying  for public assistance required pursuant to section
    14  one hundred thirty-two of the social services  law,  such  person  shall
    15  proceed pursuant to the provisions of this section.
    16    3.  An  authorized  person  requesting  the  wanted  felon  status  or
    17  probation or parole violator status, pursuant to this section  shall  do
    18  so  by  completing  a form established for such purpose by the division.
    19  Such form shall include a  sworn  statement  of  the  authorized  person
    20  certifying that:
    21    (a)  the  person for whose information is requested is a subject indi-
    22  vidual for whom information is available by law;
    23    (b) the results of request will be used by the authorized person sole-
    24  ly for purposes authorized by law; and
    25    (c) the authorized person and his or  her  agents  and  employees  are
    26  aware  of  and  will  abide  by the confidentiality requirements and all
    27  other provisions of this article.
    28    § 2. Subdivision 1 of section 132  of  the  social  services  law,  as
    29  amended  by  section 22 of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, is
    30  amended to read as follows:
    31    1. (a) When an application for assistance or care is  received,  or  a
    32  social  services official is informed that a person is in need of public
    33  assistance and care, an investigation and record shall be  made  of  the
    34  circumstances of such person. The object of such investigations shall be
    35  to  secure  the  facts  necessary to determine whether such person is in
    36  need of public assistance or care and what form thereof and  service  he
    37  or  she  should receive and to determine whether such person is a wanted
    38  felon  as  defined  in  subdivision  one  of   section   eight   hundred
    39  forty-five-c  of  the executive law or a probation or parole violator as
    40  defined in subdivision one of section eight hundred forty-five-c of  the
    41  executive  law  and  if  such  warrant or violation exists, whether such
    42  person was aware or should have been aware of such warrant or violation.
    43  Information shall be sought as to the  residence  of  such  person,  the
    44  name,  age,  religious  faith,  physical  condition,  earnings  or other
    45  income, and ability to work of all members of the family, the  cause  of
    46  the person's condition, the ability and willingness of the family, rela-
    47  tives,  friends  and  church  to  assist, and such other facts as may be
    48  useful in determining the  treatment  which  will  be  helpful  to  such
    49  person.  However, nothing in this subdivision or elsewhere in this chap-
    50  ter contained shall be construed to require a social  services  official
    51  to  communicate  with  or  require assistance from any person or persons
    52  liable by law to contribute to the support of a woman pregnant with,  or
    53  the  mother  of, an out of wedlock child, in need of care away from home
    54  during pregnancy and during and after delivery, in the  case  where  the
    55  surrender  of the child to the social services official is under consid-
    56  eration, for such period as may be necessary for such mother  and  offi-

        A. 3481                             3
 
     1  cial  to  decide  whether  the child will be surrendered for adoption to
     2  such official, which period shall not extend beyond  ninety  days  after
     3  birth  of  the child. Except where the welfare official is in possession
     4  of  positive  proof  that  the  applicant is receiving or is eligible to
     5  receive unemployment insurance benefits  and  the  amount  thereof  such
     6  investigations  shall  include  written  request  to the commissioner of
     7  labor or his or her duly authorized officer charged with  administration
     8  of  the  unemployment  insurance law for information as to the status of
     9  such person in respect to unemployment insurance benefits.
    10    (b) The commissioner of a social services district or  any  authorized
    11  person,  as  defined in section eight hundred forty-five-c of the execu-
    12  tive law, shall request information for each applicant from the division
    13  of criminal justice services, to determine whether such applicant  is  a
    14  wanted  felon  as  defined  in  subdivision one of section eight hundred
    15  forty-five-c of the executive law or probation  or  parole  violator  as
    16  defined  in subdivision one of section eight hundred forty-five-c of the
    17  executive law.
    18    (c) Upon being informed by the division of criminal  justice  services
    19  that  an  applicant is a wanted felon or a probation or parole violator,
    20  pursuant to subdivision one of section eight hundred forty-five-c of the
    21  executive law, the commissioner shall investigate to  determine  whether
    22  the  applicant  is  aware of his or her status and to determine when the
    23  applicant became, or should have become aware of his or her status.
    24    (d) Where an applicant has not initially been determined to be  ineli-
    25  gible  for  public  assistance benefits because of a reliance on a false
    26  statement provided in the application, however  is  subsequently  deter-
    27  mined  to be ineligible for such assistance, the commissioner, on behalf
    28  of the state and the local  social  services  district  shall  have  the
    29  authority  to  recoup  from  the  individual  the sums expended for such
    30  assistance during the period of time that such person received  benefits
    31  and  knew  or  should have known that their statement claiming that they
    32  are neither a wanted felon or probation or parole  violator  status  was
    33  false.
    34    (e) An individual who is identified, and knows so or is notified ther-
    35  eof,  as being a probation or parole violator, as defined in subdivision
    36  one of section eight hundred forty-five-c of the executive law,  is  not
    37  eligible  for  public assistance until he or she verifies that he or she
    38  has been restored to probation  or  parole  supervision,  released  from
    39  custody,  or until the person's maximum period of imprisonment or super-
    40  vision has expired.
    41    § 3. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section  145-b  of  the  social
    42  services  law,  as added by chapter 2 of the laws of 1998, is amended to
    43  read as follows:
    44    (b) For  purposes  of  this  section,  "statement  or  representation"
    45  includes, but is not limited to:
    46    (i)  a claim for payment made to the state, a political subdivision of
    47  the state, or an entity performing services under contract to the  state
    48  or a political subdivision of the state;
    49    (ii)  an  acknowledgment, certification, claim, ratification or report
    50  of data which serves as the basis for a claim  or  a  rate  of  payment,
    51  financial information whether in a cost report or otherwise, health care
    52  services  available or rendered, and the qualifications of a person that
    53  is or has rendered health care services;
    54    (iii) an intentional incorrect answer, made by  the  applicant,  to  a
    55  question  on  an  application for public assistance regarding the wanted
    56  felon as defined in section eight hundred forty-five-c of the  executive

        A. 3481                             4
 
     1  law  status  or probation or parole violator as defined in section eight
     2  hundred forty-five-c of the executive law status of an  applicant  or  a
     3  member of his or her family.
     4    §  4.  The state commissioner of social services, in consultation with
     5  the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services, is hereby
     6  authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the  imple-
     7  mentation of this act.
     8    § 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
     9  it  shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend-
    10  ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
    11  tation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made on or
    12  before such effective date.
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