senate Bill S1204

Clarifies the scope of protections against discrimination on the basis of disability

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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 INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Summary

Clarifies the scope of protections against discrimination on the basis of disability under the New York state human rights law in the areas of employment, public accommodations and government services to be consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the current policies and practices of the division of human rights.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3998
Versions:
S1204
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง292 & 296, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1646, A60
2009-2010: S1922, A574
2007-2008: A2571

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1204

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to clarifying the scope of
protections against discrimination on the basis of disability
in the area of government services

PURPOSE:
To clarify the scope of protections against discrimination on the
basis of disability under the New York State Human Rights Law in the
area of government services to be consistent with the federal
Americans with Disabilities Act and the current policies and
practices of the Division of Human Rights.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one sets forth the legislature's intent to clarify the
existing provisions of the Human Rights Law relative to prohibiting
discrimination on the basis of disability, consistent with the
Americans with Disabilities Act and current state policies and
practices.

Section two adds a new subdivision 31 to Sec. 292 of the Executive Law
to define the term "public entity". Section three amends Sec. 296 of
the executive law by adding two new subdivisions, 3-c and 3-d.

New subdivision 3-c provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory
practice for a public entity to exclude from or deny any individual
the benefits of a public entity program, service or benefit solely on
the basis of that individual's disability, provided the individual
meets essential eligibility requirements of the program, service or
benefit in question.

New subdivision 3-d provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory
practice for a public entity to refuse to make reasonable
modifications in rules, policies or practices or to remove
architectural/ communication or transportation barriers or to refuse
to provide auxiliary aids and services which are necessary to allow
eligible people with disabilities to receive services or participate
in programs or activities provided by the public entity.

EXISTING LAW:
Section 296 of the Executive Law currently prohibits discrimination on
the basis of disability in a broad range of areas and activities but
does not explicitly incorporate many of the protections afforded
people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA).

JUSTIFICATION:
Beginning with the adoption of Chapter 988 of the laws of 1974, true
nondiscrimination requires more than merely refraining from offensive
conduct. In some instances, there are certain modest actions which
must be undertaken to assure that people with disabilities have an
equal opportunity to participate in certain programs, services and
activities.


Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of
disability by, public entities, which are defined to include the same
entities as covered by this proposal, plus certain transportation
providers already covered under other sections of current state law.
For nearly twenty years, similar requirements have been applied to
any entity, including state and local government, which receives
federal funds pursuant to the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Given the scope of the 1973 mandate and the extent to which state and
local government continue to receive federal funds, the additional
impact of this requirement should be minimal. Although Section 296 of
the Executive Law already prohibits such discrimination by public
entities as employers and operators of public facilities, this
measure will clarify two key obligations of governmental entities
providing benefits, programs or services.

First, it will be clear that prohibitions against discrimination
extend beyond employment and use of facilities to services, programs
and activities. This distinction becomes critical in the case of
individuals who may be afforded full access to a facility but are
denied the opportunity to participate in a program offered in that
facility because of their disability. Second, the amendment will be
consistent with comparable federal requirements and will clarify the
obligation of the public entity to take reasonable actions to assure
that the rules, policies or practices by which services, programs or
activities are administered and that the existence of architectural,
communication or transportation barriers or the absence of auxiliary
aids and services do not prevent the participation of eligible people
with disabilities in public entity services, programs and activities.

Given the minimal resources which the federal government is expected
to devote to ADA enforcement, the availability of state enforcement
mechanisms through the Human Rights Law is essential to assure
adequate protections against discrimination on the basis of
disability in the delivery of services by public entities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12 S.1646 - Referred to Investigations and Government Operations
2009-10 S.1922 - Referred to Investigations and Government Operations
2007-08 S.2172 - Referred to Investigations and Government Operations
2005-06: S.3921 - Reported to Senate Floor, A.6321 - Passed Assembly
2003-04: S.5803 - Referred to Rules, A.5468 - Passed Assembly

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Given the existence of comparable federal requirements and the extent
to which state law already addresses most facets of the proposal, no
additional fiscal support should be required for implementation.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE:
January 1, next succeeding becoming law.

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

                                  1204

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to clarifying  the  scope
  of  protections  against  discrimination on the basis of disability in
  the area of government services

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

  Section  1.  Legislative  intent. With the enactment of chapter 988 of
the laws of 1974, the legislature began to extend to people  with  disa-
bilities  guarantees  that  such  individuals would not be discriminated
against on the basis of their disability in employment,  use  of  public
accommodations  and  in  a  broad  range  of  other areas and activities
subject to the requirements of the human rights provisions of the execu-
tive law.  The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990,
has extended similar protections throughout the nation.   While  current
state  requirements are consistent with those adopted by the Congress in
the Americans with Disabilities  Act,  the  federal  statute  explicitly
includes  a number of requirements which are implicit in state law.  The
legislature adopts this measure to reiterate this state's commitment  to
assuring  people with disabilities full access under state law to all of
the rights and remedies to which they are entitled under  the  Americans
with Disabilities Act, consistent with current policies and practices of
the  state  division of human rights, and to continue New York's preemi-
nent role as a leader in guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities  to
all of its citizens.
  S  2.  Section  292  of  the  executive law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 35 to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03608-01-3

S. 1204                             2

  35. THE TERM "PUBLIC ENTITY" MEANS THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVI-
SION THEREOF AND ANY DEPARTMENT, AGENCY,  SPECIAL  PURPOSE  DISTRICT  OR
OTHER INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
  S  3.  Section  296  of the executive law is amended by adding two new
subdivisions 3-c and 3-d to read as follows:
  3-C. IT SHALL BE AN UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE  FOR  ANY  PUBLIC
ENTITY  TO  EXCLUDE  A  PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHO MEETS THE ESSENTIAL
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FROM PARTICIPATION IN OR DENY SUCH  PERSON  THE
BENEFITS  OF SERVICES, PROGRAMS, OR ACTIVITIES OF A PUBLIC ENTITY SOLELY
BY REASON OF SUCH DISABILITY OR TO SUBJECT SUCH PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
TO DISCRIMINATION BY ANY SUCH ENTITY.
  3-D. IT SHALL BE AN UNLAWFUL  DISCRIMINATORY  PRACTICE  FOR  A  PUBLIC
ENTITY TO REFUSE TO MAKE REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS TO RULES, POLICIES, OR
PRACTICES,  TO  REFUSE TO REMOVE ARCHITECTURAL, COMMUNICATION, OR TRANS-
PORTATION BARRIERS, OR TO REFUSE TO PROVIDE AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SUPPORT SERVICES FOR PEOPLE  WITH  IMPAIRED
HEARING  OR  VISION  AND  ACQUISITION  OR  MODIFICATION  OF EQUIPMENT OR
DEVICES, TO A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHO MEETS THE ESSENTIAL ELIGIBIL-
ITY REQUIREMENTS WHICH WILL ALLOW SUCH AN INDIVIDUAL TO RECEIVE SERVICES
OR PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES PROVIDED BY A PUBLIC ENTITY  IN
THE MOST INTEGRATED MANNER POSSIBLE.
  S  4. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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