senate Bill S629

Expands eligibility for crime victims' compensation to include domestic partners

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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

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 05 / Apr / 2011
    • NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION

Summary

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.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3592
Versions:
S629
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Crime Victims, Crime And Correction
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง624 & 626, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S1422A, A4089A
2007-2008: S2416, A4526

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S629

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to eligibility of domestic
partners for compensation from the crime victims' board

PURPOSE:
This bill would allow people maintaining significant and long-term.
yet not legally formalized, relationships with homicide victims to be
eligible for compensation from the Crime Victims Board for actual out
of pocket losses and counseling expenses. Such people would include,
for example, elderly siblings or relatives sharing living
quarters in a mutually
interdependent relationship, adult partners in long-term
committed relationships not formalized by marriage and those who
have parent-child relationships but have not entered into a formal
adoption arrangement.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill would amend Executive Law section 624 to allow a family
member of a homicide victim, who resided with the victim at the time
of such crime and with whom the victim maintained a long-term
relationship characterized by emotional and financial commitment and
interdependence, to be eligible for compensation from the Crime
Victims Board when the victim died as a direct result of such crime.
The term "family" is currently defined in Executive Law sec. 621
(4). This bill also would amend Executive Law sec. 626 by adding a new
subdivision 4 to provide that out of pocket loss shall include the lost
the cost of counseling for surviving family members of homicide victims
who are otherwise eligible pursuant to section 624(1)(b).

JUSTIFICATION:
Currently, the Crime Victims Board has no authority to compensate
family members of homicide victims unless such persons are relative
listed explicitly in Exec. 1. sec. 624 or unless they are principally
dependent on the victim for financial support. In the absence of
such financial dependence, a long-term living companion, or a
person in a parent-child relationship not formalized by an adoption
order, may not recover under the current statute.

A recent trend in New York has been to broaden the definition
of family to include persons who maintain long-term substantial
relationships but not formalized by marriage licenses or orders of
adoption. In fact, in response to the World Trade Center attack on
September 11, 2000. the Governor extended the definition of family
to domestic partners of
victims of the attack in order to make them eligible for compensation.

SEE BRASCHI V. STAHL ASSOCIATES CO., 74 N.Y.2d 201, (1989), in which
the Court of Appeals stated that for purposes of protection from
eviction under the New York City rent control law, the term "family"
not be rigidly restricted to those people who have formalized their
relationship by obtaining, for instance, a marriage certificate or an
adoption order... but instead should find its foundation in the
reality of family life.


ID., at 211. Such persons are readily distinguishable from "mere
roommates". ID. at 212. New York City recently initiated a new policy
on paid bereavement leave for City employees who live with a partner
outside of marriage. The impact of a partner's death despite the lack
of legal formalization of a relationship is recognized by this
legislation.
Although the Crime Victims Board statute already defines "family" very
broadly.

Exec. L. sec. 621(4), definition is currently used only for narrow
purposes and not to determine who should receive compensation for out
of pocket loss and counseling expenses. Those persons within this
broader definition of family are no less traumatized by the crime-
caused death of a person with whom they maintain a committed
relation- ship than are those who have legally formalized their
relationship prior to the commission of the crime.

By combining the existing statutory definition of "family" with a
requirement that the claimant show that he or she had a long-term
interdependent relationship with the victim, the statute would more
clearly reflect societal changes and would more fairly compensate
those whose lives are forever changed by the homicide of a loved one.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2000: S.3217 Referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Correction A.6204
Referred to Governmental Operations
2002: A.4980 Reported from
Government Operations and Referred to Ways and Means
2003-04: A.1033 Reported Referred to Ways and Means
2007-09: S.2416A Referred to
Crime Victims, Crime and Correction A.4526 Advanced to Third Reading
Calendar
2009-10: S.1422A/A.4089A (Passed Assembly)

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 bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall have become law.

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

                                   629

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims,  Crime  and
  Correction

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:

  Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 624 of the execu-
tive  law,  as amended by chapter 427 of the laws of 1999, is amended to
read as follows:
  (b) a surviving spouse OR DOMESTIC PARTNER, grandparent, parent, step-
parent, child or stepchild of a victim of a crime who died as  a  direct
result of such crime;
  S  2.  Section  624  of  the  executive law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
  1-A. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS  SECTION,  "DOMESTIC  PARTNER"  MEANS  A
PERSON WHO, WITH RESPECT TO ANOTHER PERSON:
  (A) IS FORMALLY A PARTY IN A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP OR SIMILAR RELATION-
SHIP  WITH  THE  OTHER  PERSON, ENTERED INTO PURSUANT TO THE LAWS OF THE
UNITED STATES OR OF ANY STATE, LOCAL OR FOREIGN JURISDICTION, OR  REGIS-
TERED  AS  THE  DOMESTIC  PARTNER  OF THE OTHER PERSON WITH ANY REGISTRY
MAINTAINED BY THE EMPLOYER OF EITHER PARTY OR ANY  STATE,  MUNICIPALITY,
OR FOREIGN JURISDICTION; OR
  (B)  IS  FORMALLY  RECOGNIZED AS A BENEFICIARY OR COVERED PERSON UNDER
THE OTHER PERSON'S EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS OR HEALTH INSURANCE; OR
  (C) IS DEPENDENT OR MUTUALLY INTERDEPENDENT ON THE  OTHER  PERSON  FOR
SUPPORT,  AS EVIDENCED BY THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES INDICATING A
MUTUAL INTENT TO BE A DOMESTIC PARTNER INCLUDING  BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO:
COMMON  OWNERSHIP  OR JOINT LEASING OF REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY; COMMON
HOUSEHOLDING, SHARED INCOME OR  SHARED  EXPENSES;  CHILDREN  IN  COMMON;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01279-01-1

S. 629                              2

SIGNS  OF  INTENT  TO MARRY OR BECOME A DOMESTIC PARTNER UNDER PARAGRAPH
(A) OR (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION; OR THE LENGTH OF THE PERSONAL  RELATION-
SHIP OF THE PERSONS.
  S  3.  Section  626  of  the  executive law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 4 to read as follows:
  4. OUT-OF-POCKET LOSS SHALL ALSO INCLUDE THE COST  OF  COUNSELING  FOR
SURVIVING  FAMILY MEMBERS OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS WHO ARE OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE
PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  SECTION  SIX  HUNDRED
TWENTY-FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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