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A08158 Summary:

BILL NOA08158
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08129
 
SPONSORDickens
 
COSPNSRBlake, Skoufis
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 74-a & 103, Pub Off L
 
Requires public officers and public bodies to make reasonable efforts to provide qualified interpreters at no charge for the hearing impaired at public meetings and hearings upon written request to the public officer responsible for the siting of such hearing; also requires installation and use of assistive listening devices.
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A08158 Actions:

BILL NOA08158
 
06/01/2017referred to governmental operations
01/03/2018referred to governmental operations
03/06/2018reported referred to ways and means
05/22/2018reported
05/24/2018advanced to third reading cal.954
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A08158 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8158
 
SPONSOR: Dickens
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to the accessibility of public hearings and meetings   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To provide interpreters and assisted listening devices for deaf and hearing impaired individuals at public hearings and meetings.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends section 74-a of the Public Officers Law requiring the services of interpreters for the deaf be made available upon request of a deaf indi- vidual at public hearings, as well as requiring certain hearing rooms to be equipped with assisted listening devices. Amends section 103 of the Public Officers Law adding a new subdivision (c) to ensure the provision of interpreters at meetings conducted by public bodies, as well as requiring certain hearing rooms to be equipped with assisted listening devices. Provisions are included for the public body to not have to provide the services of an interpreter or assisted listening devices if such actions pose an undue hardship on the public body.   JUSTIFICATION: The services of interpreters, and assisted listening devices, for indi- viduals who are deaf or hearing impaired are essential if such persons are to fully participate in public hearings and meetings conducted by governmental bodies. Similar provisions exist for administrative rule making proceedings. Individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired who wish to attend such should be afforded every opportunity possible to fully engage with public bodies by participating at public hearings. Provisions are included in this bill allowing the public body to not have to engage in the services of a qualified interpreter, or provide assisted listening devices if doing so presents an undue hardship.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-2016: A.1669A - Passed Assembly 2013-2014: A.2826 - Passed Assembly 2011 - 2012: A.1932 - Passed Assembly 2009 - 2010: A.2102 - Passed Assembly 2009: A.637A - Passed Assembly   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Minor costs associated with the hiring of interpreters on a meeting per meeting basis, and with equipping hearing rooms with assisted listening devices.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2017.
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A08158 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          8158
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      June 1, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. DICKENS -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to the  accessibil-
          ity of public hearings and meetings
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1.  Section 74-a of the public officers law, as added by chap-
     2  ter 368 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows:
     3    § 74-a.   Duty of public  officers  regarding  [the  physically  hand-
     4  icapped]  accessibility.  1. It shall be the duty of each public officer
     5  responsible for the scheduling or siting of any public hearing  to  make
     6  reasonable  efforts to ensure (a) that such hearings are held in facili-
     7  ties that permit barrier-free physical access to  the  physically  hand-
     8  icapped,  as  defined in subdivision five of section fifty of the public
     9  buildings law; and (b) that services  of  a  qualified  interpreter,  if
    10  available,  are provided at such public hearings at no charge to persons
    11  who are hearing impaired upon written  request  to  the  public  officer
    12  responsible  for the scheduling or siting of the public hearing within a
    13  reasonable time prior to  such  hearing.  If  interpreter  services  are
    14  requested,  the  public officer responsible for the scheduling or siting
    15  of the public hearing shall engage the services of  a  qualified  inter-
    16  preter,  if available, to interpret the proceeding to, and the testimony
    17  of such persons who are hearing impaired; provided, however,  that  such
    18  action does not impose an undue hardship on the public body holding such
    19  hearing.
    20    2.  (a)  On  and after January first, two thousand twenty, such public
    21  officers shall have the power and it shall be their individual  duty  to
    22  equip any rooms used for public hearings which accommodate more than one
    23  hundred  persons with an assistive listening system for use by the hear-
    24  ing impaired; provided, however, that such action  does  not  impose  an
    25  undue hardship on the public body equipping such rooms.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10634-01-7

        A. 8158                             2
 
     1    (b)  For  purposes  of this subdivision, the term "assistive listening
     2  system" shall mean situational-personal acoustic communication equipment
     3  designed to improve the transmission and auditory  reception  of  sound.
     4  Such  system  shall  include  but  not be limited to the use of standard
     5  amplitude  modulation  (AM),  frequency modulation (FM), audio induction
     6  loop, infrared light sound, or hard wire systems.
     7    § 2. Subdivision (d) of section 103 of the  public  officers  law,  as
     8  added  by  chapter 40 of the laws of 2010, is relettered subdivision (g)
     9  and two new subdivisions (h) and (i) are added to read as follows:
    10    (h) Public bodies shall make  or  cause  to  be  made  all  reasonable
    11  efforts  to  ensure  that services of a qualified interpreter, if avail-
    12  able, are provided at meetings at no charge to persons who  are  hearing
    13  impaired  upon  written  request  to the public body within a reasonable
    14  time prior to such meeting. If interpreter services are  requested,  the
    15  public  body  shall  engage  the services of a qualified interpreter, if
    16  available, to interpret the proceedings of the meeting; provided, howev-
    17  er, that such action does not impose an undue  hardship  on  the  public
    18  body holding such meeting.
    19    (i) (1) On and after January first, two thousand twenty, public bodies
    20  shall  have  the  power  and  it shall be their collective duty to equip
    21  meeting rooms which accommodate more than one hundred  persons  with  an
    22  assistive  listening  system  for use by the hearing impaired; provided,
    23  however, that such action does not  impose  an  undue  hardship  on  the
    24  public body equipping such rooms.
    25    (2)  For  purposes  of  this  section,  the  term "assistive listening
    26  system" shall mean situational-personal acoustic communication equipment
    27  designed to improve the transmission and auditory  reception  of  sound.
    28  Such  system  shall  include  but  not be limited to the use of standard
    29  amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation  (FM),  audio  induction
    30  loop, infrared light sound, or hard wire systems.
    31    § 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.
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