S07054 Summary:

Add 8-c, amd 8-b, rpld 8-b sub 7, sub 5 d, Ct Claims Act; amd 156, Pub Hous L; amd 404, Cor L; amd 163, Civ Serv L
Relates to the availability of certain benefits and entitlements to exonerees.
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S07054 Actions:

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S07054 Memo:

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S07054 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
            S. 7054                                                  A. 9575
                SENATE - ASSEMBLY
                                     March 21, 2016
        IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered print-
          ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary
        IN  ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. QUART -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
          of A. ABINANTI -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary
        AN ACT to amend the court of claims act, the  public  housing  law,  the
          correction  law,  and the civil service law, in relation to the avail-
          ability of certain  benefits  to  exonerees;  and  to  repeal  certain
          provisions of the court of claims act relating thereto
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The court of claims act is amended by adding a new  section
     2  8-c to read as follows:
     3    §  8-c.  Definitions. When used in this act, unless otherwise required
     4  by the context, or unless a contrary intent is expressly declared in the
     5  provision to be construed, the term "exoneree"  shall  mean  any  person
     6  incarcerated  in a state correctional facility who is released from such
     7  facility because the judgment  of  conviction  against  him  or  her  is
     8  reversed or vacated and the accusatory instrument is dismissed.
     9    §  2.  Paragraph (d) of subdivision 5 and subdivision 7 of section 8-b
    10  of the court of claims act are REPEALED.
    11    § 3. Section 8-b of the court of claims act is amended by adding elev-
    12  en new subdivisions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 to  read
    13  as follows:
    14    7.  Any  exoneree  shall be entitled to have all records of his or her
    15  conviction sealed, which shall mean that all official records and papers
    16  relating to the arrests, prosecutions, and  convictions,  including  all
    17  duplicates  and  copies  thereof,  on file with the division of criminal
    18  justice services or any court shall be sealed and not made available  to
    19  any person or public or private agency except, upon request, the exoner-
    20  ee.
    21    8.  Exonerees  shall  be  eligible for all benefits enumerated in this
    22  article until their death. Such benefits shall not  be  payable  to  the
    23  estate of an exoneree.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 7054                             2                            A. 9575
     1    9. No benefits paid pursuant to this article shall be considered gross
     2  income  as  defined  in  section  six hundred twelve of the tax law, nor
     3  shall they be taxable by any entity.
     4    10.  No benefits paid pursuant to this article shall be reduced by any
     5  amount to compensate the state for the costs of incarcerating the  exon-
     6  eree.
     7    11.  All  benefits  shall  be  immediately payable upon the exoneree's
     8  release from a correctional facility.
     9    12. Exonerees shall be enrolled in the health benefit plan established
    10  pursuant to section one hundred sixty-one of the civil service law,  the
    11  supplementary  health  benefit  plan established pursuant to section one
    12  hundred sixty-three-a of the civil service law, and the dental insurance
    13  plan established pursuant to section one  hundred  sixty  of  the  civil
    14  service  law.  The full cost of premium or subscription charges for such
    15  coverage shall be paid by the state.
    16    13. The exoneree shall  be  entitled  to  reasonable  attorney's  fees
    17  incurred  in  the  process of vacating or reversing the judgment against
    18  him or her. The exoneree shall petition the court of claims  in  seeking
    19  reasonable attorney's fees as against the state. Any award of attorney's
    20  fees shall be reimbursable by the state.
    21    14.  An exoneree who enrolls at any institution of the city university
    22  of New York or any institution of the state university of New York shall
    23  be eligible for a tuition award  in  an  amount  equal  to  the  tuition
    24  charged at such institution, the mandatory fees charged at such institu-
    25  tion  and  the  non-tuition  cost  of  attendance at such institution or
    26  college, provided that the scholarship shall not exceed an  amount  that
    27  is equal to the total cost of attendance determined for federal Title IV
    28  student financial aid purposes.
    29    15.  Any and all benefits made available to parolees through the divi-
    30  sion of parole shall also be made available to exonerees.
    31    16. Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent an exoneree from
    32  pursuing further civil lawsuits against any state agencies or  employees
    33  for any reason, including in connection with the wrongful conviction.
    34    17.  Any  state  contract  with  a  service  provider for parolees and
    35  released inmates must require the service provider to also serve exoner-
    36  ees.
    37    § 4. Subdivision 1 of section 156 of the public housing law is amended
    38  by adding a new paragraph c to read as follows:
    39    c. also for persons who have been incarcerated in a state correctional
    40  facility and who are released from such facility due to exoneration. Any
    41  benefits due to such exoneree shall not be included in  the  calculation
    42  of  probable  aggregate  income  used to determine eligibility for these
    43  dwellings. Exonerees shall be assigned the highest  need-based  priority
    44  for placement in a dwelling unit.
    45    §  5.  Paragraph  (c)  of subdivision 5 of section 8-b of the court of
    46  claims act, as added by chapter 1009 of the laws of 1984, is amended  to
    47  read as follows:
    48    (c) he or she did not commit any of the acts [charged in the accusato-
    49  ry  instrument]  he  or she was convicted of or his or her acts or omis-
    50  sions charged in the accusatory instrument did not constitute  a  felony
    51  or misdemeanor against the state; and
    52    §  6.  Subdivision 4 of section 404 of the correction law, as added by
    53  chapter 548 of the laws of 2014, is amended to read as follows:
    54    4. Every inmate who has received mental health treatment  pursuant  to
    55  this  article  within three years of his or her anticipated release date
    56  from a state correctional facility and every  exoneree,  as  defined  in

        S. 7054                             3                            A. 9575
     1  section  eight-c  of  the  court  of  claims act, shall be provided with
     2  mental health discharge planning and,  when  necessary,  an  appointment
     3  with  a  mental  health  professional in the community who can prescribe
     4  medications following discharge and sufficient mental health medications
     5  and  prescriptions  to bridge the period between discharge and such time
     6  as such mental health professional  may  assume  care  of  the  patient.
     7  Inmates  who  have  refused mental health treatment may also be provided
     8  mental health discharge planning and any necessary  appointment  with  a
     9  mental health professional.
    10    § 7. Subdivision 2 of section 163 of the civil service law, as amended
    11  by  section 4 of part T of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010, is amended to
    12  read as follows:
    13    2. The contract or contracts shall provide  for  health  benefits  for
    14  retired employees of the state and of the state colleges of agriculture,
    15  home  economics, industrial labor relations and veterinary medicine, the
    16  state agricultural experiment station at Geneva, and any other  institu-
    17  tion or agency under the management and control of Cornell university as
    18  the  representative  of the board of trustees of the state university of
    19  New York, and the state college of ceramics  under  the  management  and
    20  control of Alfred university as the representative of the board of trus-
    21  tees  of the state university of New York, and their spouses and depend-
    22  ent children as defined by the regulations of the president, and exoner-
    23  ees as defined in section eight-c of the court of claims  act,  on  such
    24  terms  as  the  president  may  deem  appropriate, and the president may
    25  authorize the inclusion in the plan of the employees and retired employ-
    26  ees  of  public  authorities,  public   benefit   corporations,   school
    27  districts,  special  districts,  district corporations, municipal corpo-
    28  rations excluding active  employees  and  retired  employees  of  cities
    29  having  a  population  of  one million or more inhabitants whose compen-
    30  sation is or was before retirement paid out of  the  city  treasury,  or
    31  other  appropriate  agencies, subdivisions or quasi-public organizations
    32  of the state, including active members of volunteer fire  and  volunteer
    33  ambulance  companies serving one or more municipal corporations pursuant
    34  to subdivision seven of section ninety-two-a of  the  general  municipal
    35  law,  and  their  spouses and dependent children as defined by the regu-
    36  lations of the president. Any  such  corporation,  district,  agency  or
    37  organization  electing  to  participate in the plan shall be required to
    38  pay its proportionate share of the expenses  of  administration  of  the
    39  plan  in  such  amounts and at such times as determined and fixed by the
    40  president. All amounts payable for such expenses of administration shall
    41  be paid to the commissioner of taxation and finance and shall be applied
    42  to the reimbursement of funds previously  advanced  for  such  purposes.
    43  Neither the state nor any other participant in the plan shall be charged
    44  with  the  particular  experience  attributable  to the employees of the
    45  participant, and all dividends or  retroactive  rate  credits  shall  be
    46  distributed  pro-rata based upon the number of employees of such partic-
    47  ipant covered by the plan.
    48    § 8. This act shall take effect immediately.
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