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A05709 Summary:

COSPNSRAubry, Dickens, Forrest, Mamdani, Jacobson, Shrestha, Epstein, Kelles, Weprin, Mitaynes, Levenberg, Gibbs, Davila, Reyes, Raga, Tapia, Shimsky, Gonzalez-Rojas, Burgos, Gallahan, Burdick, Simon, Taylor, Cook
Amd §41, Cor L
Increases the number of members on the state commission of correction; provides for the manner of confirmation of such members.
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A05709 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Gallagher
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to the membership of the state commission of correction   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill expands the membership of the state commission of correction from three to nine members, adds requirements for certain types of professional expertise among members, and, reapportions the nominations of members between the legislature, governor, and correctional associ- ation.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends subdivision 1 of section forty-one of the correction law to add six new members to the commission of correction. The governor retains the right to appoint three members, while the speaker of the assembly, president pro tempore of the senate, and the correctional association gain two nominations each. Paragraph (b) of section forty-one is amended to require that nominees put forward by the legislature must have professional expertise in public health, behavioral healthcare, and indigent defense services or prisoner's rights litigation, and that one appointee be a person who was formerly incarcerated. The remaining members may be at-large, and the members of the commission are authorized to designate their own chairman annually. Subdivision two of section forty-one is amended to stagger the appoint- ments of the new commissioners. Section two is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The State Commission of Correction was created pursuant to the 1894 constitution of the state of New York and originally featured nine commissioners. It has always been intended to provide independent over- sight and regulatory power over any correctional facility in New York State, from police lock-ups to jails and state prisons. In order to increase the diversity of the perspectives and expertise of the commis- sioners, six new commissioners are added to the commission, which currently features only three members, all of whom have spent their careers in correctional administration. In order to curtail the influ- ence of the executive branch over the commission's activities, given that the state prison system is a part of the executive branch of government, four of the nominations are delegated to the legislature and two to the correctional association. The correctional association is a state-chartered, independent non-pro- fit organization that has been inspecting New York state prisons since the 1840s pursuant to unique statutory privileges and is well-suited to participate in the determination of the commission's membership. This bill, if enacted, would strengthen the role of the SCOC in providing independent oversight over state and local correctional facilities in New York.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A8461 (2022) died in committee.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill is effective immediately.
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A05709 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 22, 2023
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  GALLAGHER, AUBRY, DICKENS, FORREST, MAMDANI,
          GALLAHAN -- read once and referred to the Committee on  Correction  --
          committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
          recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to the membership of the
          state commission of correction
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Section 41 of the correction law, as added by chapter 865
     2  of the laws of 1975, is amended to read as follows:
     3    § 41. State commission of correction; organization. 1. (a) There shall
     4  be within the executive department a state commission of correction.  It
     5  shall  consist  of  [three] nine persons [to be], three of whom shall be
     6  appointed by the governor[, by and with the advice and  consent  of  the
     7  senate],  two of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly,
     8  two of whom shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate,
     9  and two of whom shall be appointed by the correctional association.
    10    (b) The members appointed shall include, but not  be  limited  to,  at
    11  least one of each of the following:
    12    (i)  a person formerly incarcerated in a correctional facility located
    13  in New York;
    14    (ii) a public health professional;
    15    (iii) a behavioral healthcare professional;
    16    (iv) an attorney duly licensed to practice in this  state  who  has  a
    17  professional background in indigent criminal defense services or prison-
    18  er's rights litigation; and
    19    (v)  a professional in any other field deemed useful for the promotion
    20  of an efficient, humane, and lawful correctional system.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 5709--A                          2
     1    (c) The [governor] members of the commission shall annually  designate
     2  one  of  the  appointed  members  as [chairman] chairperson to serve [as
     3  such] at [the] such members of the commission's pleasure [of the  gover-
     4  nor].  The members shall devote full time to their duties and shall hold
     5  no other salaried public position.
     6    2.  The  members  shall  hold office for terms of five years; provided
     7  that [of] the [three members first appointed, one shall serve for a term
     8  of two years, one shall serve for a term of three years  and  one  shall
     9  serve  for a term of five years from January first next succeeding their
    10  appointment] first two members appointed by the speaker of the  assembly
    11  shall  serve for a term of two years; the first two members appointed by
    12  the temporary president of the senate shall serve for a  term  of  three
    13  years;  and  the first two members appointed by the correctional associ-
    14  ation shall serve for a term of four years. No member  shall  serve  for
    15  more  than ten years. Any member of the commission may be removed by the
    16  [governor] appointing authority who nominated the member for cause after
    17  an opportunity to be heard in [his] such member's defense.
    18    3. Any member chosen to fill a vacancy created other than  by  expira-
    19  tion  of  term  shall  be appointed for the unexpired term of the member
    20  whom [he] such new member is to succeed.  Vacancies caused by expiration
    21  of term or otherwise shall be filled in  the  same  manner  as  original
    22  appointments.
    23    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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