senate Bill S4931A

Amended

Prohibits people registered under the sex offender registration act from being a volunteer firefighter

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 02 / May / 2011
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 26 / May / 2011
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO CODES
  • 07 / Jun / 2011
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 07 / Jun / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 4931A
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / May / 2012
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 11 / Jun / 2012
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 11 / Jun / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 4931B
  • 13 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 13 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1234
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS

Summary

Prohibits people registered under the sex offender registration act from being a volunteer firefighter; provides that a conviction that requires registration under the sex offender registration act shall result in an immediate disqualification as a member.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4931
S4931A
S4931B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §837-o, Exec L; amd §§176-b & 10-1006, Vil L; amd §122-b, Gen Muni L; amd §1402, N-PC L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: A3523B
2009-2010: A1277, S3658
2007-2008: A5721

Votes

13
1
13
Aye
1
Nay
1
aye with reservations
1
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Codes committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4931A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, the town law, the village law,
the not-for-profit corporation law and the general municipal
law, in relation to criminal background checks for firefighters and
emergency medical services personnel

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To provide volunteer fire companies, not-for-profit fire corporations,
volunteer ambulance companies or emergency medical service
organizations with greater access to background checks for applicants
and to provide greater protections for the general public by
providing for additional convictions which would disqualify an
individual from being a member of a volunteer fire company, fire
corporation, volunteer ambulance company or emergency medical service
organization.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the section heading and subdivision 1 of section
837-0 of the executive law to require that anyone seeking membership
in a fire company or who seeks to transfer as a member to another
fire company to authorize the Division of Criminal Justice Services
to search its files for records indicating whether or not the person
stands convicted of a criminal offense (current law limits search to
conviction for arson).

Section 2: Amends subdivision 3 or section 837-0 of the executive law
to provide that all searches concerning the application for
membership in a fire company pertain solely to ascertaining whether
the applicant stands convicted of a criminal offense (current law
limits search to conviction for arson). It also creates a new
paragraph (c) which provides that the chief of the fire company shall
review the records from the Division of Criminal Justice Services and
make a determination as to whether or not the applicant is eligible
to be elected or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire company. A
conviction of arson in any degree, a felony sex offense or the
misdemeanors of sexual misconduct, forcible touching or sexual abuse
in the second degree as well as any offense that is related to his or
her fitness to serve as a volunteer member with consideration of the
factors set forth under section seven hundred fifty-three of the
correction law shall result in an immediate disqualification as a
member (current law limits the immediate disqualification to
conviction for arson).

Section 3: Amends subdivision 16 of section 176-b of the town law to
provide that a person who has been convicted of arson in any degree,
a felony sex offense or the misdemeanors of sexual misconduct,
forcible touching or sexual abuse in the second degree shall not be
eligible to be elected or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire
company (current law limits disqualification to conviction for arson
in any degree). It also provides that the membership of any volunteer
member of a fire company shall immediately terminate if he or she is
convicted of arson in any degree, a felony sex offense or the
misdemeanors of sexual misconduct, forcible touching or sexual abuse


in the second degree as well as any offense that is related to his or
her fitness to serve as a volunteer member with consideration of the
factors set forth under section seven hundred fifty-three of the
correction law (current law limits disqualification to conviction for
arson in any degree).

Section 4: Amends subdivision 17 of section 176-b of the town law to
provide that upon application by any person for membership in a fire
company operating pursuant to this section, the fire chief shall
cause the applicants background to be checked pursuant to section
eight hundred thirty-seven-o of the executive law for a criminal
history involving a conviction for a criminal offense (current law
limits search to conviction for arson).

Section 5: Amends subdivision 18 of section 10-1006 of the village law
to provide that a person who has been convicted of arson in any
degree, a felony sex offense or the misdemeanors of sexual
misconduct, forcible touching or sexual abuse in the second degree
shall not be eligible to be elected or appointed as a volunteer
member of a fire company (current law limits disqualification to
conviction for arson in any degree).
It also provides that the membership of any volunteer member of a fire
company shall immediately terminate if he or she is convicted of
arson in any degree, a felony sex offense or the misdemeanors of
sexual misconduct, forcible touching or sexual abuse in the second
degree as well as any offense that is related to his or her fitness
to serve as a volunteer member with consideration of the factors set
forth under section seven hundred fifty-three of the correction law
(current law limits disqualification to conviction for arson in any
degree).

Section 6: Amends subdivision 19 of section 10-1006 of the village law
to provide that upon application by any person for membership in a
fire company operating pursuant to this section, the fire chief shall
cause the applicants background to be checked pursuant to section
eight hundred thirty-seven-o of the executive law for a criminal
history involving a conviction for a criminal offense (current law
limits search to conviction for arson).

Section 7: Amends subparagraph 4 of paragraph (c) of section 1402 of
the not-for-profit corporation law to provide that a person who has
been convicted of arson in any degree, a felony sex offense or the
misdemeanors of sexual misconduct, forcible touching or sexual abuse
in the second degree shall not be eligible to be named in the
certificate of incorporation of a fire corporation, or to be elected
or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire corporation (current law
limits disqualification to conviction for arson in any degree). It
also provides that the membership of any volunteer member of a fire
corporation shall immediately terminate if he or she is convicted of
arson in any degree, a felony sex offense or the misdemeanors of
sexual misconduct, forcible touching or sexual abuse in the second
degree as well as any offense that is related to his or her fitness
to serve as a volunteer member with consideration of the factors set
forth under section seven hundred fifty-three of the correction law
(current law limits disqualification to conviction for arson in any
degree).


Section 8: Amends subparagraph .5 of paragraph (c) of section 1402 of
the not-for-profit corporation law to provide that upon application
by any person for membership in a fire company operating pursuant to
this section, the fire chief shall cause the applicants background to
be checked pursuant to section eight hundred thirty-seven-o of the
executive law for a criminal history involving a conviction for a
criminal offense (current law limits search to conviction for arson).

Section 9: Amends section 122-b of the general municipal law by adding
a new subdivision 6 which provides that any member of a volunteer
ambulance company or emergency medical service organization shall be
subject to a criminal background check pursuant to section eight
hundred thirty-seven-o of the executive law.
It also provides that a person who has been convicted of any offense
that is related to his or her fitness to serve as a volunteer member
of an ambulance company or emergency medical services organization
may be found ineligible to be elected or appointed as a volunteer
member.

Section 10: Effective Date

JUSTIFICATION:
Volunteer fire departments and volunteer EMS departments should have
the ability to keep convicted sex offenders from becoming volunteers.
Because of the nature of the job of volunteer firefighters and
volunteer EMS, personnel are often in situations where children and
families are present and most vulnerable due to a fire or medical
emergency. Volunteer fire fighters and EMS personnel frequently
participate in community and
school activities in which children are present that would give sex
offenders unique access to children. In addition, municipalities with
volunteer fire departments and volunteer EMS departments should not
be exposed to potential lawsuits that could come about because of an
incident involving a volunteer with a past sexual offender
conviction. Finally, this bill would allow departments to screen
current volunteers for sexual offense convictions and authorizes the
termination of any current volunteer with a conviction for sexual
offenses.

This legislation has been introduced at the request of, and is
supported by, the Fireman's Association of New York, Association of
Fire Districts of the State of New York and the New York State
Association of Fire Chiefs.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A.1277 of 2009-2010
A.5721 of 2008

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None, the background checks already occur for arson convictions, this
bill expands the checks to include convictions for other offenses.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4931--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 2, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. BONACIC, LIBOUS, MARTINS -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on  Finance
  --  committee  discharged  and said bill committed to the Committee on
  Codes -- committee discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as
  amended and recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend the executive law, the town law, the village law, the
  not-for-profit corporation law  and  the  general  municipal  law,  in
  relation  to criminal background checks for firefighters and emergency
  medical services personnel

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The section heading and subdivision 1 of section 837-o of
the executive law, as added by chapter 423 of  the  laws  of  1999,  are
amended to read as follows:
  Search  for [arson] conviction records of volunteer firefighter appli-
cants. 1. Any person who applies for membership in a  fire  company,  as
such  term  is  defined  in section three of the volunteer firefighters'
benefit law, or who seeks to transfer as a member to another fire compa-
ny, shall be required to authorize the submission of his or her name and
other authorized identifying information to  the  division  which  shall
search  its  files  for  records  indicating  whether  the person stands
convicted of [the crime of arson] A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.  The chief of  the
fire  company  to which application is made shall provide written notice
to the applicant that a search will be conducted, and if  the  applicant
desires  to  proceed,  he  or she shall complete a search request on the
form provided for this purpose  by  the  division  of  criminal  justice
services.
  S  2. Subdivision 3 of section 837-o of the executive law, as added by
chapter 423 of the laws of 1999, paragraph (b) as amended by section  41
of  part  B  of  chapter  56  of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as
follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05389-03-1

S. 4931--A                          2

  3. (a) All searches concerning the application  for  membership  in  a
fire  company shall be conducted under the provisions of subdivision six
of section eight  hundred  thirty-seven  of  this  article  without  the
assessment of any fee to the applicant or fire company and shall pertain
solely to ascertaining whether the applicant stands convicted of [arson]
A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
  (b) The results of the search shall be communicated in writing, within
ten business days of receipt from the division, to the chief of the fire
company from which the search request originated by either the sheriff's
department  or  the  office of fire prevention and control, and shall be
kept confidential by the chief, except as provided in paragraph  (c)  of
this  subdivision.  [The  results  of the search shall only state either
that: (i) the applicant stands convicted of arson, or (ii) the applicant
has no record of conviction for arson.  The results of the search  shall
not  divulge  any  other information relating to the criminal history of
the applicant.]
  (c) UPON CONDUCTING A REVIEW  OF  THE  DIVISION  OF  CRIMINAL  JUSTICE
SERVICES RECORDS, THE CHIEF SHALL MAKE A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE
APPLICANT  IS  ELIGIBLE TO BE ELECTED OR APPOINTED AS A VOLUNTEER MEMBER
OF A FIRE COMPANY. A CONVICTION OF ARSON IN ANY  DEGREE,  A  FELONY  SEX
OFFENSE  OR  THE MISDEMEANORS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE TOUCHING OR
SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE SECOND DEGREE SHALL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE DISQUALI-
FICATION AS A MEMBER AND A CONVICTION FOR  ANY  OTHER  CRIMINAL  OFFENSE
SHALL  RESULT IN A DISQUALIFICATION IF IT IS DETERMINED TO BE RELATED TO
HIS OR HER FITNESS TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER  MEMBER  OF  A  FIRE  COMPANY
UPON,  AMONG  OTHER THINGS, CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER
SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE CORRECTION LAW. At the time  an
applicant  is advised that he or she is ineligible for membership due to
a record of conviction [for arson], he or she shall also be  advised  of
the  rights  to  challenge  and  appeal the information contained in the
record of conviction as provided in the rules  and  regulations  of  the
division.  The  applicant  shall  continue  to be barred from membership
until all administrative and judicial challenges to the accuracy of such
information or appeals therefrom, are ultimately resolved in his or  her
favor, or if such a determination is unchallenged.
  S  3.  Subdivision  16  of  section 176-b of the town law, as added by
chapter 719 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
  16. A person who has been convicted of arson in any degree,  A  FELONY
SEX  OFFENSE OR THE MISDEMEANORS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE TOUCHING
OR SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE SECOND DEGREE shall not be eligible to be elected
or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire company. A PERSON  WHO  HAS
BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OTHER CRIMINAL OFFENSE SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO BE
ELECTED  OR  APPOINTED  AS  A  VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF A FIRE COMPANY IF THE
OFFENSE IS RELATED TO HIS OR HER FITNESS TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER  MEMBER
UPON,  AMONG  OTHER THINGS, CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER
SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE CORRECTION LAW. The  membership
of any volunteer member of a fire company shall immediately terminate if
he  OR  SHE is convicted of arson in any degree, A FELONY SEX OFFENSE OR
THE MISDEMEANORS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE TOUCHING OR SEXUAL ABUSE
IN THE SECOND DEGREE while a member of a fire company AND  SUCH  MEMBER-
SHIP SHALL BE TERMINATED IF HE OR SHE IS CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE THAT IS
RELATED TO HIS OR HER FITNESS TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER MEMBER UPON, AMONG
OTHER THINGS, CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER SECTION SEVEN
HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE CORRECTION LAW.
  S  4.  Subdivision  17  of  section 176-b of the town law, as added by
chapter 423 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:

S. 4931--A                          3

  17. Upon application by any person for membership in  a  fire  company
operating  pursuant  to  this  section,  the  fire chief shall cause the
applicant's background to be checked pursuant to section  eight  hundred
thirty-seven-o  of  the executive law for a criminal history involving a
conviction [for arson] OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
  S 5. Subdivision 18 of section 10-1006 of the village law, as added by
chapter 719 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
  18.  A  person who has been convicted of arson in any degree, A FELONY
SEX OFFENSE, OR THE MISDEMEANORS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE TOUCHING
OR SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE SECOND DEGREE shall not be eligible to be elected
or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire company. A PERSON  WHO  HAS
BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OTHER CRIMINAL OFFENSE SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO BE
ELECTED  OR  APPOINTED  AS  A  VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF A FIRE COMPANY IF THE
OFFENSE IS RELATED TO HIS OR HER FITNESS TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER  MEMBER
UPON,  AMONG  OTHER THINGS, CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER
SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE CORRECTION LAW. The  membership
of any volunteer member of a fire company shall immediately terminate if
he  OR  SHE is convicted of arson in any degree, A FELONY SEX OFFENSE OR
THE MISDEMEANORS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE TOUCHING OR SEXUAL ABUSE
IN THE SECOND DEGREE while a member of a fire company AND  SUCH  MEMBER-
SHIP SHALL BE TERMINATED IF HE OR SHE IS CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE THAT IS
RELATED TO HIS OR HER FITNESS TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER MEMBER UPON, AMONG
OTHER THINGS, CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER SECTION SEVEN
HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE CORRECTION LAW.
  S 6. Subdivision 19 of section 10-1006 of the village law, as added by
chapter 423 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
  19.  Upon  application  by any person for membership in a fire company
operating pursuant to this section,  the  fire  chief  shall  cause  the
applicant's  background  to be checked pursuant to section eight hundred
thirty-seven-o of the executive law for a criminal history  involving  a
conviction [for arson] OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
  S  7.  Subparagraph 4 of paragraph (c) of section 1402 of the not-for-
profit corporation law, as added by chapter 719 of the laws of 1985,  is
amended to read as follows:
  (4)  A  person who has been convicted of arson in any degree, A FELONY
SEX OFFENSE OR THE MISDEMEANORS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE  TOUCHING
OR  SEXUAL  ABUSE IN THE SECOND DEGREE shall not be eligible to be named
in the certificate of incorporation of a  fire  corporation,  or  to  be
elected  or  appointed  as  a volunteer member of a fire corporation.  A
PERSON WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OTHER CRIMINAL OFFENSE SHALL NOT BE
ELIGIBLE TO BE NAMED IN THE  CERTIFICATE  OF  INCORPORATION  OF  A  FIRE
CORPORATION  OR  TO  BE  ELECTED OR APPOINTED AS A VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF A
FIRE CORPORATION IF THE OFFENSE IS RELATED TO  HIS  OR  HER  FITNESS  TO
SERVE  AS  A VOLUNTEER MEMBER UPON, AMONG OTHER THINGS, CONSIDERATION OF
THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER SECTION SEVEN  HUNDRED  FIFTY-THREE  OF  THE
CORRECTION  LAW. The membership of any volunteer member of a fire corpo-
ration shall immediately terminate if he OR SHE is convicted of arson in
any degree, A FELONY SEX OFFENSE OR THE MISDEMEANORS OF  SEXUAL  MISCON-
DUCT,  FORCIBLE  TOUCHING  OR  SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE SECOND DEGREE while a
member of a fire corporation AND SUCH MEMBERSHIP SHALL BE TERMINATED  IF
HE  OR  SHE  IS  CONVICTED  OF  AN OFFENSE THAT IS RELATED TO HIS OR HER
FITNESS TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER MEMBER UPON, AMONG OTHER THINGS, CONSID-
ERATION OF THE FACTORS SET FORTH UNDER SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE
OF THE CORRECTION LAW.

S. 4931--A                          4

  S 8. Subparagraph 5 of paragraph (c) of section 1402 of  the  not-for-
profit  corporation law, as added by chapter 423 of the laws of 1999, is
amended to read as follows:
  (5)  Upon  application  by  any person for membership in a fire corpo-
ration operating pursuant to this section, the fire  chief  shall  cause
the  applicant's  background  to  be  checked  pursuant to section eight
hundred thirty-seven-o of the  executive  law  for  a  criminal  history
involving a conviction [for arson] OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
  S 9. Section 122-b of the general municipal law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 6 to read as follows:
  6.  ANY  MEMBER  OF A VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE COMPANY OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL
SERVICE ORGANIZATION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO  A  CRIMINAL  BACKGROUND  CHECK
PURSUANT  TO  SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN-O OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW.
THE SHERIFF OF ANY COUNTY IN WHICH SUCH EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE  PROVIDED
SHALL  BE  RESPONSIBLE  FOR RECEIVING THE SEARCH REQUESTS AND PROCESSING
THE SEARCH REQUESTS WITH THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES WITH-
IN TEN BUSINESS DAYS OF RECEIPT FROM THE AMBULANCE OR EMERGENCY  MEDICAL
SERVICES  COMPANY. A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE THAT IS
RELATED TO HIS OR HER FITNESS TO SERVE AS A MEMBER OF A VOLUNTEER  AMBU-
LANCE  COMPANY  MAY BE FOUND TO BE INELIGIBLE TO BE ELECTED OR APPOINTED
AS A VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF  AN  AMBULANCE  COMPANY  OR  EMERGENCY  MEDICAL
SERVICES ORGANIZATION.
  S 10. This act shall take effect immediately.

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