NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6432
SPONSOR: Cusick (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to
requiring counties to maintain a confidential registry of people of all
ages with disabilities for evacuation and sheltering during disasters
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to protect people of all ages with disabili-
ties during times of disaster by requiring counties to maintain a confi-
dential registry of people who may require assistance during a disaster.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
This bill requires each county to maintain a confidential registry of
people of all ages with disabilities. Inclusion in the confidential
registry is voluntary and provisions are included to provide people of
all ages with disabilities the option of not being included in the
registry. All records, data, information, correspondence, and communi-
cations relating to the registration of people of all ages with disabil-
ities are confidential and are only available to the appropriate county,
state, and federal agencies for disaster preparedness purposes. The
individual file of a person who registers is available to that person
To assist the county in identifying people of all ages with a disabili-
ty, the county departments of Health, Social Services, and Mental Health
or any other county department or agency designated by the county chief
executive must provide registration information to all of their new and
existing clients of all ages with disabilities. In addition, the county
chief executive must publish in a newspaper at least twice a year a
notice of availability of the registration program and provide informa-
tion in regards to the registry to other forms of media, including elec-
tronic media. Furthermore, all community based service providers will
assist the county executive in collecting registration information from
people of all ages with disabilities, establish programs to increase
awareness of the registration process, and educate consumers about the
procedures that may be necessary during a disaster.
Article 2-B of the Executive Law sets forth State policy for disaster
preparedness plans. Section 23-a provides counties with the authority to
maintain a county registry of people with disabilities in order to meet
special needs of persons of all ages with disabilities who would need
assistance in times of disaster.
In 2005 and 2006, the Committee on Governmental Operations held a series
of statewide hearings on various aspects of disaster preparedness. In
the March 2006 hearing held in Utica, NY, testimony was received that
only two of sixty-two counties have a county registry of people with
disabilities. Testimony was also received from State officials identify-
ing this as a vulnerability in disaster response.
This bill will greatly aid localities in preparing for and responding to
disasters. Creating a standardized registry in each county in the state
will allow information to be sent out quickly and efficiently in an
emergency and help protect persons of all ages with disabilities.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2012: A.7257 - Passed Assembly; died in Senate Finance.
2010: A.520 - Veto # 6739
2009: A.520 - Passed Assembly; Referred to Senate Investigations and
2007-08: A.958-A Passed Assembly; died in Senate Investigations and
2006: A.11693 - Passed Assembly; Died in Senate Rules Committee.
Some costs would be associated with creating a new confidential regis-
January 1st after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
March 27, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. CUSICK, MARKEY, BENEDETTO, KAVANAGH -- Multi-
Sponsored by -- M. of A. FARRELL, TITONE -- read once and referred to
the Committee on Governmental Operations
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring counties to
maintain a confidential registry of people of all ages with disabili-
ties for evacuation and sheltering during disasters
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 23-a of the executive law, as added by chapter 658
2 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 23-a. [County] Confidential county registry of [disabled persons]
4 people of all ages with disabilities, as that term is defined in subdi-
5 vision twenty-one of section two hundred ninety-two of this chapter;
6 notice. 1. In each county having a local disaster preparedness plan
7 pursuant to section twenty-three of this article, in order to meet the
8 special needs of persons of all ages with disabilities who would need
9 assistance during evacuations and sheltering because of physical or
10 mental [handicaps] disabilities, it [is recommended] shall be required
11 that each chief executive maintain a registry of [disabled persons]
12 people of all ages with disabilities located within the county. People
13 of all ages with disabilities shall be given the option not to be
14 included in the registry. The registration shall identify those persons
15 in need of assistance and plan for resource allocation to meet those
16 identified needs. To assist the chief executive in identifying such
17 persons, the county department of health, the county department of
18 social services, the county department of mental health, or such other
19 county department or agency as designated by the chief executive, shall
20 provide [voluntary] registration information to all of its [special
21 needs] clients of all ages with disabilities and to all incoming clients
22 as part of the intake process. The registry shall be updated annually.
23 The registration program shall give [disabled persons] such people of
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 6432 2
1 all ages with disabilities the option of pre-authorizing emergency
2 response personnel to enter their homes during search and rescue oper-
3 ations if necessary to assure their safety and welfare during disasters.
4 2. Upon the establishment of a [voluntary] registry of [disabled
5 persons] people of all ages with disabilities as provided in subdivision
6 one of this section, the chief executive shall make such registry avail-
7 able to the appropriate county, state and federal agencies for their use
8 in delivering services in the event of a local or state disaster. The
9 chief executive shall[, upon the request of the state emergency manage-
10 ment office,] provide such registry information to [such] the state
11 emergency management office. The chief executive may, at his discretion,
12 use the registry information for local disaster preparedness only in
13 coordination with other political subdivisions of the state.
14 3. Upon the establishment of a [voluntary] registry of [disabled
15 persons] people of all ages with disabilities as provided in subdivision
16 one of this section, at least semi-annually, each chief executive shall
17 cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the
18 county a notice of the availability of the [voluntary] registration
19 program and each chief executive shall also provide information in
20 regard to the registration program to other forms of media, including,
21 but not limited to, electronic media.
22 4. All records, data, information, correspondence and communications
23 relating to the registration of [disabled persons] people of all ages
24 with disabilities as provided in subdivision one of this section are
25 confidential, except that such information shall be available to other
26 county chief executives for local disaster preparedness only as the
27 chief executive of the county maintaining such registry deems necessary.
28 Provided, however, the individual file of a person having registered
29 with the registry of [disabled persons] people of all ages with disabil-
30 ities shall be made available to that person upon request.
31 5. All community-based services providers, including home health care
32 providers, shall assist the chief executive by collecting registration
33 information for people [with special needs] of all ages with disabili-
34 ties as part of program intake processes, establishing programs to
35 increase the awareness of the registration process, and educating
36 [clients] consumers about the procedures that may be necessary for their
37 safety during disasters.
38 6. A county shall not be liable for any claim based upon the reason-
39 able, good faith exercise or performance or the reasonable, good faith
40 failure to exercise or perform a function or duty on the part of any
41 officer or employee in carrying out a local disaster preparedness plan.
42 § 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
43 ing the date on which it shall have become a law.