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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2977 SPONSOR: Simon
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law and the state finance law, in relation to creating a firearm violence research insti- tute; and making an appropriation therefor   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: to establish a center for research into firearm-related violence.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 239-c Section 2. The state finance law is amended by adding section 97-j   JUSTIFICATION: Little is known about the factors which give rise to firearm violence and its prevention. Firearm violence and its physical and social impacts are a significant public health and safety problem and becoming more so. Nevertheless, funding for research and prevention through the Center for Disease Control and prevention was eliminated by Congress in 1996. Efforts to restore that funding have been unsuccessful because of active well financed special interest groups. Unlike other major health and social concerns such as motor vehicle accidents, cancer, heart disease, and tobacco which have received expanded research, too little research has been done on firearm violence. Establishing a center for firearm violence research in New York State will help ensure a long-term effort towards understanding and preventing future firearm related violence against New Yorkers.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: to be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the action, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed by the commissioner of education on or before such effective date.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2977 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 23, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. SIMON -- read once and referred to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law and the state finance law, in relation to creating a firearm violence research institute; and making an appropriation therefor The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 239-c 2 to read as follows: 3 § 239-c. New York state firearm violence research institute. 1. 4 Institute formation and goals. The New York state firearm violence 5 research institute, hereinafter the "institute", is hereby created with- 6 in the university. The purposes of the institute shall include: 7 (a) advising the governor, governmental agencies, the regents, and the 8 legislature on matters relating to firearm violence in New York state; 9 (b) fostering, pursuing and sponsoring collaborative firearm violence 10 research; 11 (c) increasing understanding by establishing and reporting on what is 12 known and what is not known about firearm violence of the state; 13 (d) identifying priority needs for firearm violence research and 14 inventory work within New York that currently are not receiving adequate 15 attention, and identifying public or private entities that are best 16 situated to address such needs, thereby leading to better coordination 17 of firearm violence research efforts in the state; 18 (e) promoting awareness of existing and new sources of firearm 19 violence information and firearm violence while educating elected offi- 20 cials, governmental agencies, and the general public on firearm violence 21 issues through such means as it may determine; 22 (f) organizing and sponsoring meetings on firearm violence topics; 23 (g) encouraging the establishment of networks of collaborating experts 24 engaged in related aspects of firearm violence research; EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04693-01-7A. 2977 2 1 (h) raising sensitivity to firearm violence concerns among state and 2 local government agencies, and serving as a forum for enhanced intera- 3 gency information sharing and cooperation; 4 (i) recommending priority activities for funding through the firearm 5 violence research fund, created pursuant to section ninety-seven-j of 6 the state finance law; 7 (j) working on a continuing basis with policymakers in the legislature 8 and state agencies to identify, implement, and evaluate innovative 9 firearm violence prevention policies and programs; 10 (k) recruiting and providing specialized training opportunities for 11 new researchers, including experienced investigators in related fields 12 who are beginning work on firearm violence, young investigators who have 13 completed their education, postdoctoral scholars, doctoral students, and 14 undergraduates; 15 (l) supplementing its own research by administering a small grants 16 program for research on firearm violence, funded through a research 17 account in the firearm violence research fund pursuant to section nine- 18 ty-seven-j of the state finance law. All research funds shall be awarded 19 on the basis of scientific merit as determined by an open, competitive 20 peer review process that assures objectivity, consistency, and high 21 quality. All qualified investigators, regardless of institutional affil- 22 iation, shall have equal access and opportunity to compete for the funds 23 in such research account. The institute shall require the use of a 24 rigorous peer review process for the selection of grants awarded under 25 this program and shall be modeled after the process used by the national 26 institutes of health in its grantmaking process; and 27 (m) providing copies of their research publications to the legislature 28 and to agencies supplying data used in the conduct of such research as 29 soon as is practicable following publication. 30 2. Research. The institute shall foster, pursue, and sponsor basic, 31 translational, and transformative research, field studies, and all other 32 such activities to research: 33 (a) the nature of firearm violence, including individual and societal 34 determinants of risk for involvement in firearm violence, whether as a 35 victim or a perpetrator; 36 (b) the individual, community, and societal consequences of firearm 37 violence; 38 (c) the prevention and treatment of firearm violence at the individ- 39 ual, community, and societal levels; and 40 (d) the effectiveness of existing laws and policies intended to reduce 41 firearm violence, including the criminal misuse of firearms, and efforts 42 to promote the responsible ownership and use of firearms. 43 3. Education and information transfer programs. The institute shall 44 foster the collection, transfer, and application of firearm violence 45 information in the state by: 46 (a) fostering access, compatibility, interchange, and synthesis of 47 data about firearm violence maintained by public entities, academic and 48 research institutions, and private organizations; 49 (b) employing advanced technology to coordinate for ease of use of the 50 scattered firearm violence resources of the state; and 51 (c) supporting the preparation and publication of interpretative works 52 that draw upon firearm violence resources. 53 4. Quinquennial reports. The institute shall prepare and submit a 54 report on or before January first, two thousand eighteen and every five 55 years thereafter to the governor and the legislature describing programs 56 undertaken or sponsored by the institute, the status of knowledgeA. 2977 3 1 regarding the state's firearm violence, and research needs related ther- 2 eto. 3 5. Executive committee. The institute shall be guided by an executive 4 committee. Members of the committee shall be from varying backgrounds 5 with members selected from the scientific community, academic community, 6 as well as from government service. Such committee shall consist of 7 seventeen members including the commissioner, the commissioner of crimi- 8 nal justice services, the commissioner of health, the chancellor of the 9 university or their designees, seven at large members appointed by the 10 governor, one of whom shall be chairperson, two members appointed by the 11 temporary president of the senate, one member appointed by the minority 12 leader of the senate, two members appointed by the speaker of the assem- 13 bly and one member appointed by the minority leader of the assembly. 14 Appointed members shall serve for a term of three years, provided that 15 such members may be reappointed. The executive committee shall: 16 (a) adopt policies, procedures, and criteria governing the programs 17 and operations of the institute; 18 (b) recommend to the governor and legislature appropriate actions to 19 deal with firearm violence within the state; 20 (c) develop and implement the research, education and information 21 transfer programs of the institute; 22 (d) identify and rate proposals for firearm violence research; 23 (e) submit to the director of the budget, and the chairpersons of the 24 senate finance committee and the assembly ways and means committee on 25 the first day of October, two thousand seventeen and on or before August 26 first each year thereafter, a budget request for the expenditure of 27 funds available from the firearm violence research fund, for the 28 purposes established by section ninety-seven-j of the state finance law; 29 and 30 (f) meet publicly at least twice a year. The committee shall widely 31 disseminate notice of its meetings at least two weeks prior to each 32 meeting. The commissioners on the executive committee and the chancellor 33 of the university shall aid in such dissemination. 34 6. Scientific working group. The executive committee shall appoint a 35 scientific working group composed of not more than fifteen individuals 36 representing governmental agencies, academic or research institutions, 37 educational organizations, the firearm industry and related non-profit 38 organizations. Members of the scientific working group shall have know- 39 ledge and expertise in firearm violence research and shall serve for a 40 term of three years, provided, however that members may be reappointed 41 for more than one term at the discretion of the executive committee. The 42 scientific working group shall make recommendations to the executive 43 committee with respect to: 44 (a) the identification of priority firearm violence research needs in 45 the state; 46 (b) the development and implementation of the institute's research, 47 education, and information transfer programs; 48 (c) the allocation and expenditure of funds from the firearm violence 49 research fund created pursuant to section ninety-seven-j of the state 50 finance law; and 51 (d) identification and rating of proposals for firearm violence 52 research. 53 7. Institute director. The institute shall have a director who shall 54 be appointed by the executive committee and shall after appointment be 55 an employee of the state university. The institute director shall serve 56 at the pleasure of the executive committee. The institute director shallA. 2977 4 1 serve as chief administrative officer of the institute and provide the 2 necessary support for the executive committee. 3 8. Compensation. The members of the executive committee and the scien- 4 tific working group shall serve without additional compensation, but 5 shall be eligible to receive reimbursement for their actual and neces- 6 sary expenses from the firearm violence research fund established by 7 section ninety-seven-j of the state finance law, provided however, 8 members of the executive committee representing state agencies may 9 receive reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses from their 10 respective agencies. Members of the executive committee and scientific 11 working group shall be considered state employees for the purposes of 12 sections seventeen and nineteen of the public officers law. 13 9. Memorandum of understanding. The department, the department of 14 health, the department of motor vehicles, and the division of criminal 15 justice services shall enter into a written memorandum of understanding 16 to facilitate the appropriate implementation of the firearm violence 17 research institute and the goals, responsibilities, and programs estab- 18 lished by this section. 19 § 2. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 97-j to 20 read as follows: 21 § 97-j. Firearm violence research fund. 1. There is hereby established 22 in the joint custody of the state comptroller and the commissioner of 23 taxation and finance a fund to be known as the firearm violence research 24 fund. 25 2. The firearm violence research fund shall consist of all moneys 26 credited or transferred thereto from any other fund or source, including 27 any federal, state, or private funds, pursuant to law for the purposes 28 of firearm violence research. 29 3. Moneys in the firearm violence research fund may be invested by the 30 comptroller pursuant to section ninety-eight-a of this article, and any 31 income received by the comptroller shall be used for the purposes of 32 such fund. 33 4. The moneys held in or credited to the fund shall be expended for 34 the purposes set forth in this section, and may not be interchanged or 35 commingled with any other account or fund but may be commingled with any 36 other fund or account for investment purposes. 37 5. Moneys in the firearm violence research fund, following appropri- 38 ation by the legislature, shall be available to the New York firearm 39 violence research institute for firearm violence research, education, 40 and information transfer programs as set forth in section two hundred 41 thirty-nine-c of the education law. 42 § 3. The sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or so much thereof 43 may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the firearm violence 44 research fund out of any moneys in the state treasury in the general 45 fund, for administration of the New York state firearm violence research 46 institute. 47 § 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall 48 have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the 49 action, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for 50 the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and 51 directed to be made and completed by the commissioner of education on or 52 before such effective date.