A03434 Summary:

BILL NOA03434
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02340
 
SPONSORMeeks
 
COSPNSRGonzalez-Rojas, Epstein, Gallagher, Burdick, Jackson, Mamdani, Walker, Simone
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §220.03, rpld §§220.46 & 220.25, Pen L; amd §§160.50 & 440.10, CP L; amd §850, Gen Bus L; add §3395, Pub Health L
 
Eliminates criminal and civil penalties for possession of controlled substances; establishes the drug decriminalization task force to develop recommendations for reforming state laws, regulations and practices so that they align with the stated goal of treating substance use disorder as a disease, rather than a criminal behavior.
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A03434 Actions:

BILL NOA03434
 
02/03/2023referred to codes
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A03434 Committee Votes:

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A03434 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03434 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3434
 
SPONSOR: Meeks
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, the criminal procedure law and the gener- al business law, in relation to decriminalizing possession of controlled substances; to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing the drug decriminalization task force; to repeal certain provisions of the penal law related thereto; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof   PURPOSE: To decriminalize possession of controlled substances and expunge the arrest and conviction records for unlawfully possessing a controlled substance.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 states certain legislative findings. Section 2 amends Penal Law sec. 220.03 by reducing the penalty for crim- inal possession of a controlled substance and renaming the offense. Sections 3, 4 and 5 amend Criminal Procedure Law sec. 160.50 to allow for the expungement of convictions for violations of Penal Law sec. 220.03. Section 6 amends Criminal Procedure Law Sec. 440.10 to allow for the vacatur of certain previous convictions for violations of Penal Law sec. 220.03. Sections 7 and 8 amend Criminal Procedure Law Sec. 440.10 to clarify that an individual does not need to demonstrate prejudice in order to have a previous conviction vacated. Section 9 repeals Penal Law sec. 220.46. Section 10 repeals Penal Law sec. 220.25. Section 11 amends the General Business Law by adding a new subparagraph (b) excluding objects used to introduce drugs into the human body from the definition of "Drug-related paraphernalia." Section 12 bars the sanctioning of individuals under parole, probation or other state or local supervision, or released on bail awaiting trial, for actions that are no longer criminal under the proposed legislation. Section 13 enacts public health law s 2780 which establishes the drug decriminalization task force. The task force will be charged with devel- oping recommendations for reforming New York's laws, regulations and practices so that they align with the goal of treating substance use disorder as a disease, rather than a criminal behavior. Section 14 of the bill is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Substance use disorder (SUD) is a health condition recognized by the DSM-5, the gold standard catalogue of mental disorders. It is character- ized by the National Institute of Drug Abuse as a chronic, relapsing disorder that causes long-lasting changes in the brain. The disorder is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and continued use despite an array of harmful consequences, including harm to friends and family, loss of employment and housing, and involvement in the criminal, legal and child welfare systems. Yet, for well over a century, even as the scientific understanding of substance use disorders as a medical condi- tion has increased, New York and other states have continued to treat drug use as a moral failing and as a crime, thereby stigmatizing and incarcerating millions of people for having a disease. Such treatment stands in stark contrast to how society and government treat individuals suffering from other diseases, such as cancer or an anxiety disord- er.While individuals with these other illnesses are usually seen as worthy of compassion, support, and medical care, those with an SUD are disparaged, criminalized, and treated as undeserving of assistance and compassion. The first US laws penalizing individuals for using drugs date back to 1875. However, the use of these approaches became significantly more prevalent and punitive in the 1970s with Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" and New York's 1973 passage of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, generally considered to be one of the first examples of the "tough on crime" policies that resulted in the current era of mass incarcera- tion. This punishment-centered approach became even more dominant during the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 90s as ever harsher laws were enacted. While historians debate the extent to which the drug sentencing laws of this period had explicitly racist aims, their disproportionate impact on communities of color is undeniable. While research indicates that people of all races use and sell drugs at approximately the same rate, people of color are significantly more likely to be arrested, convicted, and incarcerated for drug possession and sale than whites. For example, in New York, where African-Americans make up 17.6% of the population, 26.5% of thobe arrested for misdemeanor possession of drugs are Black. Furthermore, compared with whites, Black people arrested for misdemeanor drug possession are more likely to be convicted (72.4% v. 67.1%), more likely to have that conviction be for a misdemeanor, rather than a noncriminal violation (41.2% v. 30.8%), and more likely to be sentenced to jail (13.4% v 10.6%). Policies criminalizing drug use have also clearly failed to reduce the use of drugs. Despite decades of harsh penalties for drug possession, over 3,000 New Yorkers and 67,000 Americans died of a drug-related over- dose in 2018. Additionally, the federal government's 2019 "National Survey on Drug Use and Health" found that 36 million Americans had misused an illicit drug in the previous month. Instead of preventing use, these laws have devastated individuals, families, and communities. Treating substance use as a crime disrupts and destabilizes the lives of individuals who use. drugs. It contributes to an increased risk of death, the spread of infectious diseases, mass incarceration, the sepa- ration of families, and barriers to accessing housing, employment, and other vital services. It does all of this at a huge financial cost, through increased spending on the criminal legal system, the child welfare system, the health care system, the shelter system, and others, as well as through reduced productivity and employment. Incarcerating someone in a New York State prison costs over $70,000 per year. Incar- cerating someone in a New York City jails costs over $330,000 per year. By contrast, one year of addiction treatment with medications can cost as little as $6000, and treatment in a residential program costs signif- icantly less than incarceration, though numbers vary. Moreover, taking into account the likelihood of recidivism due to failure to treat the underlying disease during incarceration exponentially increases the cost of incarceration over treatment in the long-term. Ending the criminalization of drug use is not a new idea. Many countries around the world do not have laws that punish people for using drugs and, in 2020, Oregon voters overwhelmingly supported Measure 110 which decriminalized possession of drugs for personal use.Policies that decri- minalize drug use have resulted in an array of positive outcomes. Portu- gal, often held up as a model, decriminalized personal possession of drugs in 2001. These reforms, together with a significant expansion of harm reduction investments and treatment availability, have resulted in significant decreases in incarceration, problematic drug use, over-. dose deaths, and HIV and hepatitis infection rates. The rate of overdose deaths in Portugal was 4 per million in 2017. The equivalent number for the US was 217 per million. In New York, it was 168 per million. These policies also contributed to a large increase in the number of people receiving treatment for their substance use. For far too long, New York, together with the rest of the US, has made enforcement the central component of its response to drugs. It has continued to do so long after it became obvious that these highly costly policies had failed to achieve their stated goal - preventing the use of illicit drugs. By reducing the criminal and civil penalties that accrue to individuals as a result of personal possession of a controlled substance, the proposed legislation will transform New York's approach to drug use from one based on criminalization and stigma to one based on science and compassion. Instead of being discriminated against for having a substance use disorder, a documented health condition, individ- uals would increasingly be seen as patients in need of care, much like individuals with any other health need. This in turn will result in fewer deaths, reductions in incarceration and the spread of bloodborne diseases, and millions of dollars saved that are currently spent incar- cerating individuals solely for having a medical condition.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A7109 of 21-22: referred to codes   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 180 days after becoming law, however section 13 would be repealed two years after such date.
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A03434 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3434
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 3, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  MEEKS,  GONZALEZ-ROJAS,  EPSTEIN, GALLAGHER,
          BURDICK, JACKSON -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes
 
        AN ACT to amend the penal law, the criminal procedure law and the gener-
          al  business  law,  in  relation  to  decriminalizing  possession   of
          controlled  substances; to amend the public health law, in relation to
          establishing the drug decriminalization task force; to repeal  certain
          provisions  of  the  penal  law related thereto; and providing for the
          repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Legislative  findings.  The legislature hereby finds that
     2  substance use disorder is a disease  and  should  therefore  be  treated
     3  using  a  public  health,  rather  than a criminal-legal-system-centered
     4  approach.  Existing laws criminalizing the possession of drugs have been
     5  ineffective in reducing drug use and preventing substance use  disorder.
     6  Instead,  these laws have devastated individuals, families, and communi-
     7  ties.  Treating substance use as a crime by arresting and  incarcerating
     8  people  for personal use offenses causes significant harm to individuals
     9  who use drugs by disrupting and further destabilizing  their  lives.  It
    10  also contributes to an increased risk of death, the spread of infectious
    11  diseases,  mass  incarceration, the separation of families, and barriers
    12  to accessing housing, employment, and other vital services. Furthermore,
    13  even though research shows that drugs  are  used  and  sold  at  similar
    14  levels  across  all  races,  laws  criminalizing  the  use of drugs have
    15  disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx communities. The purpose of
    16  this legislation is to save lives  and  to  help  transform  New  York's
    17  approach to drug use from one based on criminalization and stigma to one
    18  based  on  science  and  compassion,  by  eliminating criminal and civil
    19  penalties for the personal possession of controlled substances.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02723-01-3

        A. 3434                             2
 
     1    § 2. Section 220.03 of the penal law, as amended by section 4 of  part
     2  I of chapter 57 of the laws of 2015 and the opening paragraph as amended
     3  by chapter 433 of the laws of 2021, is amended to read as follows:
     4  § 220.03 [Criminal]  Unlawful  possession  of a controlled substance [in
     5             the seventh degree].
     6    A person is guilty of [criminal] unlawful possession of  a  controlled
     7  substance  [in  the  seventh degree] when [he or she] they knowingly and
     8  unlawfully [possesses] possess a controlled substance; provided,  howev-
     9  er,  that  it  shall  not  be  a violation of this section when a person
    10  possesses a residual amount of a controlled substance and that  residual
    11  amount  is in or on a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle; nor shall
    12  it be a violation of this section when a person's unlawful possession of
    13  a controlled substance is discovered as a result  of  seeking  immediate
    14  health  care as defined in paragraph (b) of subdivision three of section
    15  220.78 of this article, for either another person or  [him  or  herself]
    16  themself  because such person is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose
    17  or other life threatening medical emergency as defined in paragraph  (a)
    18  of subdivision three of section 220.78 of this article.
    19    [Criminal]  Unlawful  possession  of  a  controlled  substance [in the
    20  seventh degree] is a [class A misdemeanor]  violation  punishable  by  a
    21  fine  of  up  to  fifty dollars or participation in a needs screening to
    22  identify health and other service needs, including but  not  limited  to
    23  services  that  may  address  any  problematic  substance use and mental
    24  health conditions, lack of employment, housing, or food,  and  any  need
    25  for  civil legal services.  The screening should prioritize the individ-
    26  ual's self-identified needs for referral to appropriate  services.  Such
    27  screening  shall  be  conducted  by  individuals  trained  in the use of
    28  evidence-based, culturally and gender  competent  trauma-informed  prac-
    29  tices.  Upon  verification  that  the person has completed the screening
    30  within forty-five days of when the fine was imposed, the fine imposed by
    31  this section shall be waived. Failure to pay such fine shall not be  the
    32  basis for further penalties or for a term of incarceration.
    33    §  3. Subdivision 3 of section 160.50 of the criminal procedure law is
    34  amended by adding a new paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    35    (m) (i) the conviction was for a violation of an  offense  defined  in
    36  section  220.03  of  the  penal  law prior to the effective date of this
    37  paragraph.
    38    (ii) the conviction is for an offense defined in section 220.03 of the
    39  penal law.
    40    No defendant shall be required or permitted to waive  eligibility  for
    41  sealing  or  expungement  pursuant  to this section as part of a plea of
    42  guilty, sentence  or  any  agreement  related  to  a  conviction  for  a
    43  violation  of  section 220.03 of the penal law and any such waiver shall
    44  be deemed void and wholly unenforceable.
    45    § 4. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 5 of section 160.50 of the  criminal
    46  procedure law, as amended by chapter 132 of the laws of 2019, is amended
    47  to read as follows:
    48    (a)  Expungement  of certain [marihuana-related] records. A conviction
    49  for an offense described in  subparagraph  (iii)  of  paragraph  (k)  or
    50  subparagraph  (ii) of paragraph (m) of subdivision three of this section
    51  shall, [on and after the effective date of this paragraph,]  in  accord-
    52  ance  with  the  provisions of this paragraph, be vacated and dismissed,
    53  and all records of such conviction or convictions and  related  to  such
    54  conviction or convictions shall be expunged, as described in subdivision
    55  forty-five  of  section  1.20  of  this chapter, and the matter shall be
    56  considered terminated in favor of the  accused  and  deemed  a  nullity,

        A. 3434                             3
 
     1  having been rendered by this paragraph legally invalid. All such records
     2  for  an  offense  described  in  this paragraph where the conviction was
     3  entered on or before the effective date of the chapter of  the  laws  of
     4  [2019]  two  thousand nineteen or two thousand twenty-three, as applica-
     5  ble, that amended this paragraph shall be expunged promptly and, in  any
     6  event, no later than one year after such effective date.
     7    §  5.  Subparagraph  (ii) of paragraph (b) of subdivision 5 of section
     8  160.50 of the criminal procedure law, as added by  chapter  131  of  the
     9  laws of 2019, is amended to read as follows:
    10    (ii)  where  automatic  vacatur, dismissal, and expungement, including
    11  record destruction if requested, is required by this subdivision but any
    12  record of the court system in this state has not  yet  been  updated  to
    13  reflect  same  (A)  notwithstanding any other provision of law except as
    14  provided in paragraph (d) of subdivision one of this section  and  para-
    15  graph  (e)  of subdivision four of section eight hundred thirty-seven of
    16  the executive law: (1) when the division of  criminal  justice  services
    17  conducts  a  search of its criminal history records, maintained pursuant
    18  to subdivision six of section eight hundred thirty-seven of  the  execu-
    19  tive  law,  and returns a report thereon, all references to a conviction
    20  for an offense described in paragraph (k) or (m) of subdivision three of
    21  this section shall be excluded from  such  report;  and  (2)  the  chief
    22  administrator of the courts shall develop and promulgate rules as may be
    23  necessary  to  ensure that no written or electronic report of a criminal
    24  history record search conducted by the office  of  court  administration
    25  contains  information  relating to a conviction for an offense described
    26  in paragraph (k) or (m) of subdivision three of this  section;  and  (B)
    27  where  court  records  relevant to such matter cannot be located or have
    28  been destroyed, and a person or the person's  attorney  presents  to  an
    29  appropriate  court  employee  a fingerprint record of the New York state
    30  division of criminal justice services, or a copy of a court  disposition
    31  record  or  other relevant court record, which indicates that a criminal
    32  action or proceeding against such person was terminated by conviction of
    33  an offense described in paragraph (k) or (m)  of  subdivision  three  of
    34  this  section,  then promptly, and in any event within thirty days after
    35  such notice to such court  employee,  the  chief  administrator  of  the
    36  courts  or  [his  or her] their designee shall assure that such vacatur,
    37  dismissal, and expungement, including record destruction  if  requested,
    38  have  been  completed  in accordance with subparagraph (i) of this para-
    39  graph.
    40    § 6. Paragraph (k) of subdivision 1 of section 440.10 of the  criminal
    41  procedure  law, as amended by chapter 92 of the laws of 2021, is amended
    42  to read as follows:
    43    (k) The judgment [occurred prior to the effective date of the laws  of
    44  two thousand twenty-one that amended this paragraph and] is a conviction
    45  for  an  offense as defined in subparagraphs (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of
    46  paragraph (k) or subparagraph (i) of paragraph (m) of subdivision  three
    47  of  section  160.50  of this part, in which case the court shall presume
    48  that a conviction by plea for the aforementioned offenses was not  know-
    49  ing,  voluntary and intelligent if it has [severe or] ongoing collateral
    50  consequences, including but not limited to  potential  or  actual  immi-
    51  gration consequences, and shall presume that a conviction by verdict for
    52  the  aforementioned  offenses  constitutes  cruel and unusual punishment
    53  under section five of article one of the state  constitution,  based  on
    54  those consequences. The people may rebut these presumptions.

        A. 3434                             4
 
     1    § 7. Subdivision 6 of section 440.10 of the criminal procedure law, as
     2  amended  by  chapter  629  of  the  laws  of 2021, is amended to read as
     3  follows:
     4    6.  If  the court grants a motion under paragraph (i) or paragraph (k)
     5  of subdivision one of this section, it  must  vacate  the  judgment  and
     6  dismiss  the  accusatory instrument, and may take such additional action
     7  as is appropriate in the circumstances. In the case of a motion  granted
     8  under  paragraph  (i) of subdivision one of this section, the court must
     9  vacate the judgment on the merits because the defendant's  participation
    10  in  the  offense was a result of having been a victim of trafficking.  A
    11  defendant shall not be required to demonstrate prejudice prior to vacat-
    12  ing the judgment.
    13    § 8. Subdivision 9 of section 440.10 of the criminal procedure law, as
    14  added by section 4 of part OO of chapter 55 of  the  laws  of  2019,  is
    15  amended to read as follows:
    16    9.  Upon  [granting of] considering a motion pursuant to paragraph (j)
    17  of subdivision one of this section, a defendant shall not be required to
    18  demonstrate prejudice. Upon granting the motion, the court may either:
    19    (a) With the consent of the people, vacate [the judgment or] and modi-
    20  fy the judgment [by reducing it] to [one of conviction for a lesser]  an
    21  alternate offense; or
    22    (b)  Vacate  the  judgment and order a new trial wherein the defendant
    23  enters a plea to the same offense in order to permit the court to resen-
    24  tence the defendant in accordance  with  the  amendatory  provisions  of
    25  subdivision one-a of section 70.15 of the penal law.
    26    § 9. Section 220.46 of the penal law is REPEALED.
    27    § 10. Section 220.25 of the penal law is REPEALED.
    28    §  11.  Subdivision  2  of section 850 of the general business law, as
    29  amended by chapter 433 of the laws of 2021  and  subparagraph  (vii)  of
    30  paragraph  (a)  of  subdivision 2 as separately amended by chapter 92 of
    31  the laws of 2021, is amended to read as follows:
    32    2. (a) "Drug-related paraphernalia" consists of the following  objects
    33  used for the following purposes:
    34    (i)  Kits,  used or designed for the purpose of planting, propagating,
    35  cultivating, growing or harvesting of any species of plant  which  is  a
    36  controlled  substance  or  from  which  a  controlled  substance  can be
    37  derived;
    38    (ii)  Kits,  used  or  designed  for  the  purpose  of  manufacturing,
    39  compounding, converting, producing, or preparing controlled substances;
    40    (iii)  Isomerization  devices,  used  or  designed  for the purpose of
    41  increasing the potency of any species of plant  which  is  a  controlled
    42  substance;
    43    (iv) Scales and balances, used or designed for the purpose of weighing
    44  or measuring controlled substances; and
    45    (v)  Diluents  and  adulterants,  including but not limited to quinine
    46  hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose and lactose, used or designed
    47  for the purpose of cutting controlled substances[;
    48    (vi) and
    49    (vii) Objects, used or designed for the purpose of  ingesting,  inhal-
    50  ing, or otherwise introducing cocaine into the human body].
    51    (b)   "Drug-related   paraphernalia"  shall  not  include  [hypodermic
    52  needles, hypodermic syringes and other objects used for the  purpose  of
    53  parenterally  injecting  controlled  substances]  objects  used  for the
    54  purpose of injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing drugs
    55  into the human body.

        A. 3434                             5
 
     1    § 12. A person under parole, probation or other state or local  super-
     2  vision,  or  released on bail awaiting trial as of the effective date of
     3  this act shall not be punished or otherwise penalized for  conduct  that
     4  is  no  longer  considered  criminal  under article 220 of the penal law
     5  pursuant to the provisions of this act.
     6    § 13. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 3395 to
     7  read as follows:
     8    §  3395.  Drug decriminalization task force. 1. There is hereby estab-
     9  lished a drug  decriminalization  task  force  which,  pursuant  to  the
    10  provisions  of this section, shall develop recommendations for reforming
    11  state laws, regulations and practices so that they align with the stated
    12  goal of treating substance use disorder as  a  disease,  rather  than  a
    13  criminal behavior.
    14    2. The task force shall study and utilize reliable evidence and infor-
    15  mation to:
    16    (a)  Identify  amounts  of individual controlled substances consistent
    17  with non-prescribed personal use;
    18    (b) Identify qualitative and  quantitative  research  data  about  the
    19  types  of  services  that  people  with  substance use disorders who are
    20  involved with the criminal legal or child  welfare  systems  desire  and
    21  currently  cannot  access,  and barriers to accessing existing services;
    22  and
    23    (c) Issue recommendations regarding  laws,  regulations  and  policies
    24  identified by the task force as needing reform, including changes to the
    25  penal law, the social services law and any other statutes that will help
    26  the state achieve the objective of addressing the use of drugs through a
    27  public  health  approach.  In developing recommendations, the task force
    28  shall consider:
    29    (i) the quantity of drugs used by individuals  with  a  substance  use
    30  disorder;
    31    (ii)  policies  and practices that will prioritize access to treatment
    32  and recovery for individuals wishing to address their use of  controlled
    33  substances;
    34    (iii) non-carceral strategies to divert individuals who use drugs from
    35  the criminal legal system, including charges for selling drugs;
    36    (iv) the criminalization of possession of methadone and buprenorphine;
    37    (v)  the immigration consequences of convictions for crimes related to
    38  drug use;
    39    (vi) how to reduce unnecessary family separation;
    40    (vii) how to reduce civil collateral consequences of drug  convictions
    41  including effects on employment, housing, education, and licensing;
    42    (viii) how to maximize the use of harm reduction strategies; and
    43    (ix) how to address racial disparities in enforcement.
    44    3.  (a)  (i) Such task force shall be comprised of the commissioner of
    45  health or their designee; the commissioner  of  addiction  services  and
    46  supports  or  their designee; the commissioner of mental health or their
    47  designee; the commissioner of the division of criminal justice  services
    48  or their designee; the commissioner of the office of children and family
    49  services or their designee; the director of the office of indigent legal
    50  services  or  their designee; one public defender recommended by the New
    51  York state defenders association;  one  prosecutor  recommended  by  the
    52  district  attorneys association of the state of New York; two experts in
    53  the etiology and treatment of substance use disorders recommended by the
    54  New York academy of medicine, at least one of whom must be an expert  in
    55  medication-assisted treatment and at least one of whom must be an expert
    56  in  the  comorbidity  of substance use disorders with mental health; and

        A. 3434                             6
 
     1  eleven members to be appointed as follows: (A) three  members  shall  be
     2  appointed  by  the governor; (B) three members shall be appointed by the
     3  temporary president of the senate; (C) one member shall be appointed  by
     4  the  minority leader of the senate; (D) three members shall be appointed
     5  by the speaker of the assembly; and (E) one member shall be appointed by
     6  the minority leader of the assembly.
     7    (ii) If appointments are not  made  within  thirty  days,  the  senate
     8  majority  leader and speaker of the assembly shall appoint the remaining
     9  members.
    10    (iii) All appointees shall have expertise  in  at  least  one  of  the
    11  following fields: public health, substance use disorders, mental health,
    12  drug  user  health  and harm reduction, the criminal legal system, child
    13  welfare, immigration, drug policy or racial justice. Further, appointees
    14  shall include people with prior drug convictions, individuals  who  have
    15  participated in a drug court program, individuals who have been formerly
    16  incarcerated,  individuals  impacted  by  the  child welfare system, and
    17  representatives of organizations serving communities  impacted  by  past
    18  federal  and  state drug policies. All appointments shall be coordinated
    19  to ensure statewide  geographic  representation  that  is  balanced  and
    20  diverse in its composition.
    21    (iv)  The task force shall be chaired by the commissioner of health or
    22  selected by the commissioner from the appointed members. The task  force
    23  shall  elect  a  vice-chair  and other necessary officers from among all
    24  appointed members.
    25    (b) The members of the task force shall receive  no  compensation  for
    26  their  services but shall be reimbursed for expenses actually and neces-
    27  sarily incurred in the performance of their duties.
    28    (c) No civil action shall be brought in any court against  any  member
    29  of  the drug decriminalization task force for any act or omission neces-
    30  sary to the discharge of their duties as a member  of  the  task  force,
    31  except  as provided herein. Such member may be liable for damages in any
    32  such action if they failed to act in good faith and exercise  reasonable
    33  care.  Any  information  obtained  by  a  member of the task force while
    34  carrying out their duties as  prescribed  in  subdivision  two  of  this
    35  section shall only be utilized in their capacity as a member of the task
    36  force.
    37    4.  No  later  than one year after the effective date of this section,
    38  the task force shall provide a report  containing  the  results  of  the
    39  study, including evidence used as a basis in making such report, and its
    40  recommendations,  if  any, together with drafts of legislation necessary
    41  to carry out its recommendations by filing said  report,  documentation,
    42  and draft legislation, with the governor, the temporary president of the
    43  senate,  the minority leader of the senate, the speaker of the assembly,
    44  and the minority leader of the assembly. The task force shall also  make
    45  the report, documentation, and draft legislation available to the public
    46  by posting a copy on the website maintained by the office.
    47    §  14.  This  act  shall  take effect on the one hundred eightieth day
    48  after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that section  thir-
    49  teen  shall expire and be deemed repealed two years after such effective
    50  date.
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