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SB2774 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         2774--C
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 29, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen.  COMRIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Ethics and Internal Gover-
          nance -- committee discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as
          amended  and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --  recommitted to the
          Committee on Ethics and Internal Governance in accordance with  Senate
          Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to  said  committee  --  reported
          favorably  from  said  committee  and  committed  to  the Committee on
          Finance -- committee discharged, bill amended,  ordered  reprinted  as
          amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        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 handicapped]
     4  accessibility.  1. It shall be the duty of each public officer responsi-
     5  ble for the scheduling or siting of any public hearing to  make  reason-
     6  able  efforts  to  ensure  (a) that such hearings are held in facilities
     7  that permit barrier-free physical access to the physically  handicapped,
     8  as  defined in subdivision five of section fifty of the public buildings
     9  law; and (b) that services of a qualified interpreter, if available, are
    10  provided at such public hearings at no charge to persons who are deaf or
    11  hard of hearing upon written request to the public  officer  responsible
    12  for  the  scheduling or siting of the public hearing within a reasonable
    13  time prior to such hearing. If interpreter services are  requested,  the
    14  public  officer  responsible  for the scheduling or siting of the public
    15  hearing shall engage the services of a qualified interpreter, if  avail-
    16  able,  to interpret the proceeding to, and the testimony of such persons
    17  who are deaf or hard of hearing; provided,  however,  that  such  action
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02919-07-0

        S. 2774--C                          2
 
     1  does  not impose an undue hardship on the public body holding such hear-
     2  ing.
     3    2. (a) Such public officers shall have the power and it shall be their
     4  individual duty to equip any rooms used for public hearings which accom-
     5  modate  more than one hundred persons with an assistive listening system
     6  for use by the deaf or hard of hearing;  provided,  however,  that  such
     7  action  does  not  impose an undue hardship on the public body equipping
     8  such rooms.
     9    (b) For purposes of this subdivision, the  term  "assistive  listening
    10  system" shall mean situational-personal acoustic communication equipment
    11  designed  to  improve  the transmission and auditory reception of sound.
    12  Such system shall include but not be limited  to  the  use  of  standard
    13  amplitude  modulation  (AM),  frequency modulation (FM), audio induction
    14  loop, infrared light sound, or hard wire systems.
    15    § 2. Subdivision (d) of section 103 of the  public  officers  law,  as
    16  added  by  chapter 40 of the laws of 2010, is relettered subdivision (g)
    17  and two new subdivisions (h) and (i) are added to read as follows:
    18    (h) Public bodies shall make  or  cause  to  be  made  all  reasonable
    19  efforts  to  ensure  that services of a qualified interpreter, if avail-
    20  able, are provided at meetings at no charge to persons who are  deaf  or
    21  hard of hearing upon written request to the public body within a reason-
    22  able  time prior to such meeting. If interpreter services are requested,
    23  the public body shall engage the services of a qualified interpreter, if
    24  available, to interpret the proceedings of the meeting; provided, howev-
    25  er, that such action does not impose an undue  hardship  on  the  public
    26  body holding such meeting.
    27    (i)  (1)  Public  bodies  shall  have  the power and it shall be their
    28  collective duty to equip meeting rooms which accommodate more  than  one
    29  hundred  persons  with an assistive listening system for use by the deaf
    30  or hard of hearing; provided, however, that such action does not  impose
    31  an undue hardship on the public body equipping such rooms.
    32    (2)  For  purposes  of  this  section,  the  term "assistive listening
    33  system" shall mean situational-personal acoustic communication equipment
    34  designed to improve the transmission and auditory  reception  of  sound.
    35  Such  system  shall  include  but  not be limited to the use of standard
    36  amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation  (FM),  audio  induction
    37  loop, infrared light sound, or hard wire systems.
    38    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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