senate Bill S1766

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Relates to the confidentiality of certain personnel records maintained by the department of taxation and finance

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to codes
Feb 06, 2009 referred to codes

S1766 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5177
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Civil Rights Law

S1766 - Bill Texts

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BILL NUMBER: S1766

TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the
confidentiality of certain personnel records maintained by the
department of taxation and finance

PURPOSE :
To amend Section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law so as to include police
officers and peace officers employed by the Department of Taxation and
Finance within the group of law enforcement and public safety
officials whose personnel records are deemed confidential by statute.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
The proposed amendment renders confidential the personnel files of
those individuals in the Department's employ who hold peace officer
status pursuant to section 2.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law or
police officer status pursuant to section 1.20 of the CPL. Moreover,
the proposed amendment provides that only with the consent of the
affected employee or pursuant to a lawful court order can the
personnel file be inspected or its contents be made public.

EXISTING LAW :
Presently, Section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law renders confidential
the personnel files of police officers, State and county correction
officers, firefighters and firefighter/paramedics and parole officers.

JUSTIFICATION :
This bill grants protection to law enforcement personnel employed by
the Department of Taxation and Finance, similar to that granted to
Parole Officers by Chapter 137 of the laws of 2002. The Department of
Taxation and Finance is responsible for enforcing criminal laws that
relate to taxes including taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products,
alcoholic beverages, gasoline and sales and use taxes. The Department
employs law enforcement professionals who are authorized under the
Criminal Procedure Law to exercise the powers of police officers and
peace officers in enforcing these tax laws. Their duties include
criminal investigations, serving warrants, and making arrests. These
duties expose them to the same risks as other law enforcement officers
and they must maintain similar levels of physical fitness to perform
their duties. They should therefore be granted the same type of
protection as that offered to other law enforcement professionals. In
the absence of this protection, a person who is the subject of a
criminal investigation by these law enforcement officers could obtain
access to the personnel records of an enforcement officer, which could
reveal that officer's home address and other information that could be
used to threaten or harass an officer or their family. The law has
recognized the need for this confidentiality for other law enforcement
personnel. Since these employees of the Department of Taxation &
Finance also perform law enforcement duties, they need similar
protection.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
S.3031/A.8407 of 2003-04. Passed Senate in 2003 and 2004.
S.2159/A.4255 of 2005-06. Passed Senate in 2005 and 2006.
S.1295/A.7525 of 2007-08.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
Immediately.
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