senate Bill S3326

Relates to the definition of qualified agencies

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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

  • 31 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE

Summary

Relates to the definition of qualified agencies; adds public defenders, legal aid societies, and assigned counsel administrators.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4720
Versions:
S3326
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §835, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S3269A, A7857A
2009-2010: S8229, A11602

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3326

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the
definition of qualified agencies

PURPOSE: To authorize public defenders, legal aid societies, and
administrators of assigned counsel plans to have access to the
Division of Criminal Justice Services' criminal history records for
use in connection with the representation of public defense clients as
defined in County Law article 18-b.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision 9 of Executive Law section 835 to add
public defenders, legal aid societies, and assigned counsel
administrators to the list of qualified agencies. Qualified agencies
may enter into agreements with the Division of Criminal Justice
Services for access to its criminal history database as authorized by
subdivision 6 of Executive Law section 837.

JUSTIFICATION: Agencies that are defined as "qualified agencies"
under Executive Law § 835(9) have access to the criminal history
records maintained by the Division of Criminal Justice Services. See
Executive Law § 837(6); 9 NYCRR Part 6051. The proposed bill would add
public defenders, legal aid societies, and administrators of assigned
counsel programs to the list of qualified agencies. Public defense
providers would then be able to enter into use and dissemination
agreements with the Division of Criminal Justice Services that would
govern their access to criminal history information.

In order to provide effective representation, including bail
applications, case investigation, plea negotiation, and sentencing
advocacy, public defense attorneys need to have ready access to
criminal history reports of clients and witness. Currently, public
defense providers rely on district attorneys, judges, and other
members of the criminal justice community for access to criminal
history reports; often, disclosure of these reports is not timely.
Providing public defense counsel direct access to criminal history
reports will help them provide effective representation to their
clients and will improve the efficiency of the entire criminal justice
system in New York State.

In 1991, counsel for the Division of Criminal Justice Services
acknowledged the importance of granting public defense counsel direct
access to criminal history information: "Since defense representation
is a criminal justice function and an integral part of the criminal
justice system, it is a natural extension to grant defense counsel the
same ability to access Division of Criminal Justice Services criminal
history records currently afforded to prosecutors." 1991 Legislative
Proposal
IR Memorandum, M. Dawn Herkenham, Counsel, Division of Criminal
Justice Services to Evan A. Davis, Counsel to the Governor. The
Division of Criminal Justice Services' Systems Improvements for
Enhanced Community Safety (SIFECS) public Defense State I Report
(1990) also advocated for public defense counsel having direct access
to criminal history information. "Ready access to criminal histories


will benefit the defense and positively impact the efficiency of the
criminal justice system." Public Defense State I Report, 111-3.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Senate 2009-10: S.8229 - Passed Senate Assembly
2009-10: A.11602 (Lentol) - Referred to Governmental Operations

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal,

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

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

                                  3326

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. HASSELL-THOMPSON, GRISANTI, KRUEGER, MARTINS -- read
  twice  and  ordered  printed,  and when printed to be committed to the
  Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend the executive law, in  relation  to  the  definition  of
  qualified agencies

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section 835 of the executive law, as sepa-
rately amended by chapters 14 and 155 of the laws of 2012, is amended to
read as follows:
  9. "Qualified agencies" means courts in the unified court system,  the
administrative  board of the judicial conference, probation departments,
sheriffs' offices, district attorneys' offices, the state department  of
corrections  and  community supervision, the department of correction of
any municipality, the financial frauds and consumer protection  unit  of
the  state  department of financial services, the office of professional
medical conduct of the state department of health for  the  purposes  of
section  two  hundred thirty of the public health law, the child protec-
tive services unit of a local social services district  when  conducting
an  investigation  pursuant  to  subdivision six of section four hundred
twenty-four of the social services law, the office of Medicaid inspector
general, the temporary state commission of investigation, police  forces
and  departments  having  responsibility  for enforcement of the general
criminal laws of the state, the  Onondaga  County  Center  for  Forensic
Sciences  Laboratory when acting within the scope of its law enforcement
duties and the division  of  forensic  services  of  the  Nassau  county
medical  examiner's  office  when  acting  within  the  scope of its law
enforcement duties  AND  PUBLIC  DEFENDERS,  LEGAL  AID  SOCIETIES,  AND
ASSIGNED COUNSEL ADMINISTRATORS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04673-03-3

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