senate Bill S1133

Provides that any state officer or local officer convicted of a felony involving breach of public trust be subject to forfeiture of pension benefits

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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

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 11 / Jan / 2013
    • TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • 06 / Feb / 2013
    • OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • 19 / Feb / 2014
    • OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Provides that any state officer or local officer convicted of a felony involving breach of public trust be subject to forfeiture of pension rights or retirement benefits.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7173
Versions:
S1133
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Constitution, Concurrent Resolutions to Amend
Laws Affected:
Amd Art 5 §7, Constn
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S2768, S2768

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1133

TITLE OF BILL:

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing an amendment to section 7 of article 5 of the constitution, in
relation to forfeiture of pension rights or retirement benefits upon
conviction of a felony related to public employment

PURPOSE:

Provides that any state officer or local officer convicted of a felony
involving breach of public trust be subject to forfeiture of pension
benefits.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Adds a new subdivision (a) to article 5 section 7 of the constitution
to allow a state officer or local officer who is convicted of a
felony related to public employment to be subject to forfeiture of
rights and privileges under the public retirement system or pension
plan in such manner as provided by law.

JUSTIFICATION:

Currently, New York State has no policy regarding the forfeiture of
pension benefits by a state officer or local officer who has been
convicted of a crime. No matter how serious the offense or how
grossly a state officer or local officer has abused his or her public
position, current law regulating pension plans for state employees
makes no provision for forfeiture. As it stands, an employee who
meets the age and length of service requirement for pension
collection contained in the New York's Retirement and Social Security
Law is entitled to benefits at the public's expense, regardless of
their conviction record.

When an elected official is sworn into office, he or she must sign a
solemn Oath stating that they will uphold the laws and the
Constitution that govern New York State. This Oath sets the highest
standard for integrity - the public's trust. A violation of that
trust, while in office, demands pecuniary as well as criminal penalty.

Numerous bills have been introduced in past legislative sessions that
seek to revoke or reduce pension or other retirement benefits of
elected officials who are convicted of a crime related to their
employment.
Because none of the legislation contends with the contractual relation-
ship of a public pension under the Constitution, constitutionality is
in question. Article 5 Section 7 of the constitution sets out a
two-part articulation of the public pension right. First, membership
in a retirement system is a contractual relationship. Second,
because of that relationship, pension benefits cannot be reduced or
impaired. Therefore, it is likely that the proposals are
unconstitutional.


This constitutional amendment provides for legislative action to
permit loss of the publicly funded portion of retirement benefits or
pension rights as one of the consequences of misusing positions of
public trust.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011/2012 - S.2768 Remained in Senate Committee on Judiciary

FISCAL IMPACT:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment be
referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
next succeeding general election of members of the Assembly, and, in
conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be
published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.

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

                                  1133

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  BRESLIN,  KRUEGER,  MONTGOMERY  -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
  Judiciary

            CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY

proposing an amendment to section 7 of article 5 of the constitution, in
  relation  to  forfeiture of pension rights or retirement benefits upon
  conviction of a felony related to public employment

  Section 1. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 7 of  arti-
cle 5 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
  S  7.  After  July  first,  nineteen  hundred forty, membership in any
pension or retirement system of the state or of a civil division thereof
shall be a contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not  be
diminished  or  impaired.    ANY STATE OFFICER OR LOCAL OFFICER, AS SUCH
TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION TWO OF THE   PUBLIC OFFICERS  LAW,  WHO  IS
CONVICTED  OF A FELONY INVOLVING BREACH OF PUBLIC TRUST SHALL BE SUBJECT
TO FORFEITURE OF RIGHTS OR PRIVILEGES UNDER A PUBLIC  RETIREMENT  SYSTEM
OR PENSION PLAN IN SUCH MANNER AS MAY BE PROVIDED BY LAW.
  S  2.  RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment
be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
next succeeding general election of members of  the  assembly,  and,  in
conformity  with  section  1  of  article  19  of  the  constitution, be
published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD89019-01-3

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