Expands eligibility for those who receive awards under crime victims' compensation to include a domestic partner; defines domestic partner; further provides for out-of-pocket loss to include the cost of counseling for surviving family members of homicide victims.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4024
SPONSOR: Glick (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to
eligibility of domestic partners for compensation from the crime
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would allow domestic part-
ners of homicide victims to be eligible for compensation from the Crime
Victims Board for actual out of pocket losses and counseling expenses.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends paragraph b of subdi-
vision 1 of section 624 of the Executive Law, as amended by chapter 427
of the laws of 1999 to allow a domestic partner of a homicide victim to
be eligible for compensation from the Crime Victims Board when the
victim died as a direct result of such crime.
Section 2 adds a new subdivision to section 624 of the executive law
that provides a definition of domestic partner.
Section 3 Amends section 626 of the executive law to add a new subdivi-
sion making domestic partners eligible for out-of-pocket loss and the
cost of counseling.
Section 4 States the effective date.
Discrimination is severely frowned upon in society today yet unmarried
persons who reside together, who are responsible for each other's
welfare and share the basic necessities of life are discriminated
against in almost every area of public policy. Domestic partners are
just as committed to each other as married couples yet they are denied
many important benefits such as health insurance, hospital visitation
rights and adoption rights.
In the wake of the horrific events of September 11th we saw severe
discrimination in the distribution of benefits after the attacks. The
initial response by the people responsible for the federal September
11th victims Compensation Fund left domestic partners off the list of
eligible persons. Due to a number of complaints, Judge Feinberg has
indeed backtracked, but the incident still highlights the frustrating
situation for domestic partners in this country.
Family life is central to society today and legal marriage is not an
option for hundreds and thousands of New Yorkers who live together.
This results in domestic partners, in committed relationships being
treated as second class citizens. Many people - gay and lesbian, senior
citizens and disabled people live in fear of losing benefits associated
with marital survivor and other status. This legislation however helps
to end this discrimination by providing legal recognition for the domes-
tic relationships of these people.
Lawsuits are seeking to end marital status discrimination in the
provision of employment benefits. Discrimination in the workplace cannot
be accepted and enactment of this bill will ensure that the wide range
of casual discriminatory acts will be prohibited.
Society is constantly changing and needs to reflect the numerous loving
and caring roles that exist between two adults. It was estimated, in a
recent California study, that about half of the gay and lesbian popu-
lation have life-partners.
We cannot continue to treat lesbian and gay couples as second class
citizens solely because of their sexual orientation. In a world where
pain and suffering is all around us we cannot deny that strong, long-
term, loving relationships ultimately strengthen our society. It is
important that the law recognizes the reality of the lives already being
lived by New Yorkers.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2000 --S3214 Referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections; A.6204
Referred to Governmental Operations.
2001-2002- 5.2741 Referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections;
A4980 Reported from Government Operations and referred to Ways and Means
2003-2004- 5.534 Referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections; A1033
Reported from Government Operations and referred to Ways and Means
2005-2006 - A.3694-A Third reading rules Calendar 1061
2009-2010 A.4089-A: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
2011-2012 A.3592: REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The Crime Victims Board has estimated that
approximately $28,000 per year from existing appropriations would be
required to cover awards to the additional eligible claimants under this
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after
it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
January 30, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. GLICK, JAFFEE, PERRY, GOTTFRIED -- Multi-Spon-
sored by -- M. of A. COLTON, JACOBS, MILLMAN, O'DONNELL, SWEENEY,
WEINSTEIN, WRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to eligibility of domes-
tic partners for compensation from the crime victims' board
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 624 of the execu-
2 tive law, as amended by chapter 233 of the laws of 2012, is amended to
3 read as follows:
4 (b) a surviving spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, parent, step-
5 parent, guardian, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, child or
6 stepchild of a victim of a crime who died as a direct result of such
8 § 2. Section 624 of the executive law is amended by adding a new
9 subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
10 1-a. For the purposes of this section, "domestic partner" means a
11 person who, with respect to another person:
12 (a) is formally a party in a domestic partnership or similar relation-
13 ship with the other person, entered into pursuant to the laws of the
14 United States or of any state, local or foreign jurisdiction, or regis-
15 tered as the domestic partner of the other person with any registry
16 maintained by the employer of either party or any state, municipality,
17 or foreign jurisdiction; or
18 (b) is formally recognized as a beneficiary or covered person under
19 the other person's employment benefits or health insurance; or
20 (c) is dependent or mutually interdependent on the other person for
21 support, as evidenced by the totality of the circumstances indicating a
22 mutual intent to be a domestic partner including but not limited to:
23 common ownership or joint leasing of real or personal property; common
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 4024 2
1 householding, shared income or shared expenses; children in common;
2 signs of intent to marry or become a domestic partner under paragraph
3 (a) or (b) of this subdivision; or the length of the personal relation-
4 ship of the persons.
5 § 3. Section 626 of the executive law is amended by adding a new
6 subdivision 4 to read as follows:
7 4. Out-of-pocket loss shall also include the cost of counseling for
8 surviving family members of homicide victims who are otherwise eligible
9 pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section six hundred
10 twenty-four of this article.
11 § 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
12 it shall have become a law.