senate Bill S4081A

Amended

Relates to notice of indicated reports of child maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings; repealer

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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

  • 07 / Mar / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 13 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 13 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 4081A
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 4081B
  • 20 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

Relates to notice of indicated reports of child maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4081
S4081A
S4081B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Family Court Act
Laws Affected:
Amd §§1017, 1055 & 1089, rpld §1055 sub(b) ¶(i) sub¶ (E), §358-a, Soc Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4081A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the social
services law, in relation to notice of indicated reports of child
maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and
voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings; and to repeal
certain provisions of the family court act, in relation to technical
changes thereto

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Family
Court Advisory and Rules Committee.

Reflecting a pronounced legislative 1:relic:tat both Federal and State
levels, Family Court's oversight responsibility for children in foster
care has increased sharply in the past two decades. See Adoption and
Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-89); L. 1999, c. 7; L. 2005,
c. 3. Both the Federal and State Adoption and Safe Families Acts
emphasize that a child's safety is paramount, making it vital that the
Court and the parties be informed promptly of all events affecting
child safety, especially indicated reports of abuse or maltreatment.

As important; the Federal ASFA measures success in terms of outcomes,
i.e., the states ability to reach Federally-established targets for
timely achievement of permanency for children. The second "Child and
Family Service Review (CFSR)," conducted by the Administration for
Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS), in 2008, concluded that New York again ranked
among the lowest scores in the nation and demonstrated how far our
State must go to achieving, the Federal targets.{1} It is therefor
crucial that steps be taken to ensure that Family Courts can exercise
their important monitoring functions on the basis of complete, timely
information. The 2005 permanency legislation, with its salutary
provisions for continuing jurisdiction, was an important-step, but
further legislation is necessary to ensure that information regarding
the most compelling of circumstances is conveyed to the Court, the
child's attorney and the parties on a timely basis in order to bring
New York State into compliance with ASFA. This measure answers that
need.

This measure would ensure that the parties and children's attorneys
are informed promptly of any changes in placement and of any indicated
reports of maltreatment that may warrant Family Court intervention.
The measure would amend sections 1055 and 1089 of the Family Court
Act, as well as section 358-a of the Social Services Law, to require
an agency with which a child has been placed, either voluntarily or as
a result of an abuse or neglect finding, or to whom guardianship and
custody has been transferred as a result of the child being freed for
adoption, to report to the attorney for the child not later than ten
days in advance of any change in the child's placement status and not
later than the next business day in any case in which an emergency
placement change has been made. These provisions are consistent with
recently issued policy directives of the State Office of Children and
Family Services and the New York City Administration for Children's
Services, but would have the stronger force of statute.{2}


The measure adds two important requirements not contained in the new
agency policies. First, it requires a report within five days of the
date that any report of abuse or maltreatment is found to be
indicated. It contains an important proviso that such reports notify
the recipients that the information shall be kept confidential, shall
be used only in connection with the child protective, foster care or
related proceedings under the Family Court Act and may not be
redisclosed except as necessary for such proceeding or proceedings and
as authorized by law. Second, recognizing that fairness also compels
such notifications to be made to the attorneys for all parties, not
simply the attorneys for the children, the measure requires that both
notices of changes in placement and indicated child maltreatment
reports be conveyed to attorneys for the birth parents except in cases
involving children freed for adoption. The two types of reports, in
fact, are related, as the existence of an indicated report of
maltreatment may bear directly upon the suitability of a planned
status change. Indeed, there have been instances in which the
existence of indicated child abuse reports has not come to light until
the point of finalization of adoptions.

Significantly, this measure is fully responsive to concerns raised in
then-Governor Paterson's 2010 Veto Message regarding A 8418, a bill
passed by the Legislature that would have required notification to
children's attorneys' of changes in placement. First, by explicitly
authorizing electronic transmission of notices, the measure minimizes
the burden imposed upon the placement agencies. Second, since
notifications are sent to the attorneys but not to the courts, the
measure insures that court intervention would only occur in the rare
case in which an application is made by one of the attorneys.

In few areas of the Court's functioning is its continuing.
jurisdiction as critical as in child welfare, where complex decisions
regarding children must be adjusted to the dynamic of their constantly
changing needs and circumstances. Federal and State statutes emphasize
that a child's safety must be the paramount consideration and that
timely achievement of permanence must be the central goal. Not only
are these vital public policy concerns, but they also are
determinative of the State's eligibility for several hundred million
dollars of annual Federal foster care aid. Prompt receipt by the
Court, the parties and attorneys for children of information regarding
a child's ever-changing circumstances, both as to any child
maltreatment suffered by the child and as to changes in the child's
placement, is vital to effective exercise of Family Court's continuing
jurisdiction and a critical component of the State's ability to comply
with the ASFA funding eligibility mandates.

This measure would have no meaningful fiscal impact upon the State,
and would take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a
law; provided, however, that section 2 shall take effect immediately
and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect since the
effective date of chapter 342 of the laws of 2010 and, effective
immediately, the additions, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or
regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its
effective date is authorized and directed to be completed on or before
such effective date.


2011-12 Legislative History: Senate 5456 (Sen. Savino) (Rules)
Assembly 7598 (M. of A. Paulin, et al) (Passed)

2013 Legislative History: Senate 4081 (Sen. Felder) (Children &
Families) Assembly 2599 (M. of A. Paulin, et al) (Codes)

{1} As in 2001, New York State scored poorly in the time for children
to achieve permanency. See Final Report of the Child and Family
Services Review of New York State: Executive Summary, p. 2 (March,
2009)(available at
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/proitrarns/cb/cwrp/executive/ny/html)

{2} N.Y.S. Office of Children and Family Services, "Notice of
Placement Change to Attorneys for Children," Administrative Directive
410-0CFS-ADM-16 (Dec. 14, 2010); Memorandum of John B. Mattingly,
Commissioner, N.Y.C. Administration for Children's Services, entitled
"Notice of Placement Change to Attorneys for Children," dated Aug.
30, 2010.

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

                                 4081--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 7, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sen. FELDER -- (at request of the Office of Court Adminis-
  tration)  --  read  twice  and ordered printed, and when printed to be
  committed to the Committee  on  Children  and  Families  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the family court act and the social services law, in
  relation to notice of indicated  reports  of  child  maltreatment  and
  changes  of  placement  in  child protective and voluntary foster care
  placement and review proceedings; and to repeal certain provisions  of
  the family court act, in relation to technical changes thereto

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

  Section 1. Section 1017 of the family court act is amended by adding a
new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
  5. IN ANY CASE IN WHICH AN ORDER HAS  BEEN  ISSUED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS
ARTICLE  REMANDING OR PLACING A CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OF THE LOCAL SOCIAL
SERVICES DISTRICT, THE SOCIAL SERVICES  OFFICIAL  OR  AUTHORIZED  AGENCY
CHARGED WITH CUSTODY OF THE CHILD SHALL REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN
PLACEMENT  TO  THE  ATTORNEYS  FOR  THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE
CHILD NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN  WHICH
THE  CHILD IS MOVED FROM THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE
HAS BEEN PLACED OR IN WHICH THE FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT  OF  STATE  WITH
THE  CHILD;  PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF PLACE-
MENT ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS IS REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE  TRANSMITTED
NO  LATER  THAN THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS
BEEN MADE. EACH REPORT SHALL STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF  THE  CHANGE,
THE  GROUNDS  FOR THE OFFICIAL'S OR AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE
IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD  AND  CONTACT  INFORMATION  FOR  A
SOCIAL  SERVICES  OR AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED FOR ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION. THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL  OR  AUTHORIZED  AGENCY  SHALL
ALSO  SUBMIT  A REPORT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03045-03-3

S. 4081--A                          2

FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF  A  CHANGE  IN  PLACEMENT  ANY
INDICATED  REPORT  OF  CHILD  ABUSE  OR  MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD OR
ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE  DAYS  OF  THE
INDICATION  OF THE REPORT. THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFI-
DENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR ADDRESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOSTER OR
PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS.   REPORTS REGARDING INDICATED  REPORTS  OF
CHILD  ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL
INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT  THE  INFORMATION  IN  SUCH
REPORT  OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, SHALL
BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH  A  PROCEEDING  UNDER  THIS  ARTICLE  OR
RELATED  PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS
NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED  BY  LAW.
REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRON-
IC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT.
  S  2.  Subparagraph (E) of paragraph (i) of subdivision (b) of section
1055 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 41 of  the  laws  of
2010, is REPEALED.
  S  3.  Section 1055 of the family court act is amended by adding a new
subdivision (j) to read as follows:
  (J) IN ANY CASE IN WHICH AN ORDER HAS BEEN  ISSUED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS
SECTION  PLACING  A  CHILD  IN THE CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
SERVICES, THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY CHARGED WITH
CUSTODY OF THE CHILD SHALL REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO
THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD  NOT  LATER
THAN  TEN  DAYS  PRIOR  TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS
MOVED FROM THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH  HE  OR  SHE  HAS  BEEN
PLACED  OR IN WHICH THE FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD;
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE  OF  PLACEMENT  ON  AN
EMERGENCY  BASIS  IS  REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER
THAN THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE.
EACH REPORT SHALL STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE  GROUNDS
FOR  THE  OFFICIAL'S  OR  AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS IN THE
BEST INTERESTS OF  THE  CHILD  AND  CONTACT  INFORMATION  FOR  A  SOCIAL
SERVICES OR AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMA-
TION.  THE  SOCIAL  SERVICES  OFFICIAL  OR  AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO
SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND  THE  ATTORNEY  FOR
THE  CHILD  OR  INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDI-
CATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD  OR  ANOTHER
CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION
OF THE REPORT. THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF
IDENTIFYING  OR  ADDRESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOSTER OR PROSPECTIVE
ADOPTIVE PARENTS.  REPORTS REGARDING INDICATED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR
MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  INCLUDE  A
STATEMENT  ADVISING  RECIPIENTS  THAT  THE INFORMATION IN SUCH REPORT OF
CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL,  SHALL  BE  USED
ONLY  IN  CONNECTION  WITH  A  PROCEEDING  UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR RELATED
PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT  AS  NECES-
SARY  FOR  SUCH  PROCEEDING  OR  PROCEEDINGS  AND  AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW.
REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRON-
IC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT.
  S 4. Subparagraph (vii) of paragraph 2 of subdivision (d)  of  section
1089  of  the  family court act is amended by adding a new clause (H) to
read as follows:
  (H) A DIRECTION THAT THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY
CHARGED WITH CARE AND CUSTODY OR GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF THE  CHILD,
AS  APPLICABLE, REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO THE ATTOR-

S. 4081--A                          3

NEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD NOT LATER  THAN  TEN
DAYS  PRIOR  TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS MOVED FROM
THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS BEEN  PLACED  OR  IN
WHICH  THE  FOSTER  PARENTS  MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD; PROVIDED,
HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF  PLACEMENT  ON  AN  EMERGENCY
BASIS  IS  REQUIRED,  THE  REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER THAN THE
NEXT BUSINESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT  HAS  BEEN  MADE.  EACH
REPORT  SHALL  STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE GROUNDS FOR
THE OFFICIAL'S OR AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS  IN  THE  BEST
INTERESTS  OF THE CHILD AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR A SOCIAL SERVICES OR
AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED  FOR  ADDITIONAL  INFORMATION.  THE
SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT
TO  THE  ATTORNEYS  FOR  THE  PARTIES  AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR
INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDICATED  REPORT  OF
CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME
HOME  IS  THE  SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION OF THE REPORT.
THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR
ADDRESS  INFORMATION  REGARDING  THE  FOSTER  OR  PROSPECTIVE   ADOPTIVE
PARENTS. REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT BE SENT TO ATTORNEYS FOR
BIRTH  PARENTS  WHOSE  PARENTAL  RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED OR WHO HAVE
SURRENDERED THEIR  CHILD  OR  CHILDREN.    REPORTS  REGARDING  INDICATED
REPORTS  OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDI-
VISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT  THE  INFORMA-
TION  IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFI-
DENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING  UNDER  THIS
ARTICLE OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED
EXCEPT AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED
BY  LAW.  REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY
ELECTRONIC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS  IN  FAMILY  COURT;
AND
  S  5.  Subdivision  3  of  section 358-a of the social services law is
amended by adding a new paragraph (g) to read as follows:
  (G) IN ANY CASE IN WHICH AN ORDER HAS BEEN  ISSUED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS
SECTION  APPROVING  A  FOSTER  CARE  PLACEMENT  INSTRUMENT,  THE  SOCIAL
SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY CHARGED WITH CUSTODY OF THE CHILD
SHALL REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO  THE  ATTORNEYS  FOR
THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR
TO  SUCH  CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS MOVED FROM THE FOSTER
HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS BEEN PLACED  OR  IN  WHICH  THE
FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT
WHERE  AN  IMMEDIATE  CHANGE  OF  PLACEMENT  ON  AN  EMERGENCY  BASIS IS
REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER THAN THE  NEXT  BUSI-
NESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE. EACH REPORT SHALL
STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE GROUNDS FOR THE OFFICIAL'S
OR  AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE
CHILD AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR A SOCIAL SERVICES OR  AGENCY  OFFICIAL
WHO  MAY  BE  CONTACTED  FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. THE SOCIAL SERVICES
OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT TO  THE  ATTOR-
NEYS  FOR  THE  PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE
REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDICATED REPORT OF CHILD  ABUSE  OR
MALTREATMENT  WHERE  THE  CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE
SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION OF THE REPORT.  THE  OFFICIAL
OR  AGENCY  MAY  PROTECT  THE  CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR ADDRESS
INFORMATION  REGARDING  THE  FOSTER  OR  PROSPECTIVE  ADOPTIVE  PARENTS.
REPORTS  REGARDING  INDICATED  REPORTS  OF  CHILD  ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT
PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING

S. 4081--A                          4

RECIPIENTS THAT THE  INFORMATION  IN  SUCH  REPORT  OF  CHILD  ABUSE  OR
MALTREATMENT   SHALL  BE  KEPT  CONFIDENTIAL,  SHALL  BE  USED  ONLY  IN
CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING UNDER THIS SECTION OR  RELATED  PROCEEDINGS
UNDER  THE  FAMILY COURT ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS NECES-
SARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING  OR  PROCEEDINGS  AND  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  LAW.
REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRON-
IC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT.
  S  6.  This  act shall take effect immediately, provided that sections
one, three, four and five of this act shall take effect on the  sixtieth
day  after  it  shall have become a law; provided, however, that section
two of this act shall be deemed to have taken effect on the same date as
section 1 of chapter 342 of the laws of 2010, took effect;  and,  effec-
tive  immediately,  the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or
regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective
date is authorized and directed to be completed on or before such effec-
tive date.

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