senate Bill S6156

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Requires the division of criminal justice services to check the wanted felon status and other information of people applying for public assistance

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • 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
Jun 20, 2012 referred to governmental operations
delivered to assembly
passed senate
ordered to third reading cal.1434
Jun 12, 2012 reported and committed to rules
Feb 07, 2012 reported and committed to finance
Jan 18, 2012 committee discharged and committed to social services
Jan 06, 2012 referred to finance

Votes

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Jun 20, 2012 - Rules committee Vote

S6156
17
6
committee
17
Aye
6
Nay
2
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Jun 12, 2012 - Finance committee Vote

S6156
22
8
committee
22
Aye
8
Nay
4
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
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Jun 12, 2012 - Rules committee Vote

S6156
24
0
committee
24
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show Rules committee vote details

Feb 7, 2012 - Social Services committee Vote

S6156
4
2
committee
4
Aye
2
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Social Services committee vote details

Social Services Committee Vote: Feb 7, 2012

nay (2)

Co-Sponsors

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S6156 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8882
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Add §845-c, Exec L; Amd §§132 & 145-b, Soc Serv L

S6156 - Bill Texts

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Requires the division of criminal justice services to check the wanted felon status and probation or parole violator status of people applying for public assistance.

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BILL NUMBER:S6156

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law and the social services law, in relation to
requiring the division of criminal justice services to check the wanted
felon status and other information of people applying for public
assistance

PURPOSE:
To authorize the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to
provide information to local social services districts and to require
those social services districts to request such information regarding
whether applicants for benefits are wanted felons or are absconding
from parole or probation. Further, to require that where such
applicants have fraudulently obtained public assistance benefits,
such benefits must be repaid and subject to the same penalties as any
other acts of fraud which are used to gain public assistance benefits.

SUMMARY:
Section 1 adds a new section 845-C to the executive law requiring the
commissioners of social service districts, or their authorized
designees, to request, from DCJS information regarding whether
applicants for public assistance benefits are wanted felons and/or
whether they are probation or parole violators who are absconding
from justice and authorizes DCJS to provide such information.

Section 2 adds new subparagraphs to Social Service law section 132
to the current investigation required by that section. Under the new
provisions, the Department of Social Services (DSS) must inquire of
the DCJS regarding whether applicants for public assistance are
wanted felons or absconding from probation or parole. Where an
applicant is found to have such status, DSS shall further investigate
to determine whether the applicant knew, or had reason to know of
his/her status, and when the applicant became or should have become
aware of such status. This section also ensures benefits collected
during the period of time that the fleeing felon or absconder from
probation or parole knew or should have known of such status, must be
repaid.

Section 3 amends subparagraph b of paragraph one of section 145-B of
the Social Service Law by adding a new subparagraph (iii) to ensure
that a deliberate false response to questions on the application for
public assistance regarding an applicant's status as a fleeing felon
or probation or parole absconder is treated as fraud for purposes of
that section and as such subject to the penalties set forth therein.

Section 4 authorizes the Commissioner of DSS in consultation with the
Commissioner of DCJS to promulgate rules and regulations to implement
the act.

Section 5 provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Currently, both federal and New York State law prohibits those who
know that they are fleeing felons and those who are knowingly
absconding from probation or parole from receiving public assistance
benefits. However, at this time, there is no statutory requirement in
place to ensure that applicants for public assistance are
investigated to determine whether they ineligible based on this status.

The "wanted felon" portion of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
"National Crime Information Center" database is provided to NYS and
is distributed to NYS law enforcement through E. Justice-by DCJS.
This bill is needed to authorize DCJS to provide this information to
commissioners of the social services departments and to require that
those departments make such an inquiry.

It should be noted that in previous years, the NYS Office of Temporary
Disability Assistance worked with the NYS Division of Criminal
Justice Services to check if an applicant was a fleeing felon.
However, following the federal ruling in Fowlkes v.
Adamec it was
determined that governing statute was needed to give the local DSS
the authority to determine if an applicant is a fleeing felon.

In addition, this bill is necessary to ensure that benefits paid based
on fraudulent representations by the applicant, are fully recouped by
NYS and that those applicants who fraudulently obtain benefits by
deliberately misrepresenting their ineligibility are subject to the
same stringent penalties as for any other fraudulent representations.

As a bonus, this legislation would also alert law enforcement to the
location of fleeing felons and those absconding from probation or
parole and thus enhance the effectiveness of our state's law
enforcements efforts.

This legislation was prompted by the recent arrest of Edward Moses
made in Fulton, New York. Moses was arrested in the parking lot of a
local bank after a witness called the police to report suspicious
behavior. When asked for proof of identity, Edward Moses provided the
police with his New State Electronic Benefits Card given to
individuals on public assistance or other social services programs.
When the police ran his name, they immediately discovered that Moses
was wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping and possession of a weapon
in South Carolina. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this is an
isolated event.

Benefits are not designed for persons who are evading arrest or wanted
criminals. This legislation seeks to protect the integrity of New
York's public assistance programs by making sure that benefits are
being directed to those who are truly in need of assistance.

HISTORY:
New Bill.

FISCAL IMPACT:
It is anticipated that any increase in investigation costs would be
more than offset by savings attributable to disqualifying ineligible
applicants and recouping payments already made to those who are
ineligible.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the 180th day after becoming a law.

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

                                  6156

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 6, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend the executive  law  and  the  social  services  law,  in
  relation  to  requiring  the  division of criminal justice services to
  check the wanted felon status and other information of people applying
  for public assistance

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

  Section  1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 845-c
to read as follows:
  S 845-C. REQUESTS FOR WANTED FELON INFORMATION. 1.  DEFINITIONS.    AS
USED IN THIS SECTION:
  (A)  "AUTHORIZED  PERSON"  MEANS A COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TEN OF SECTION TWO OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, OR
ANY ONE OR MORE INDIVIDUALS DESIGNATED BY SUCH COMMISSIONER  AS  AUTHOR-
IZED  TO  REQUEST,  RECEIVE  AND REVIEW INFORMATION REGARDING THE WANTED
FELON PORTION OF THE NATIONAL CRIME INFORMATION CENTER AND/OR, IF APPLI-
CABLE, INFORMATION REGARDING AN INDIVIDUAL'S VIOLATION  OF  HIS  OR  HER
PROBATION OR PAROLE CONDITIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.  A COMMISSIONER
OF  SOCIAL  SERVICES  MAY  DESIGNATE  ONE  OR MORE ADDITIONAL PERSONS AS
NECESSARY TO SERVE AS AUTHORIZED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
  (B) "SUBJECT INDIVIDUAL" MEANS A PERSON WHO  IS  APPLYING  FOR  PUBLIC
ASSISTANCE  WHOSE  WANTED  FELON  STATUS OR PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR
STATUS HAS BEEN REQUESTED PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO  OF
THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW.
  (C)  "WANTED FELON" MEANS A PERSON WHO IS FLEEING OR HAS FLED TO AVOID
PROSECUTION, OR CUSTODY OR CONFINEMENT AFTER CONVICTION, UNDER THE  LAWS
OF  THE PLACE FROM WHICH THE PERSON FLEES, FOR A CRIME, OR AN ATTEMPT TO
COMMIT A CRIME, WHICH IS A FELONY UNDER THE LAWS OF THE PLACE FROM WHICH
THE PERSON FLEES.
  (D) "PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR" MEANS A PERSON WHO IS  VIOLATING  A
CONDITION OF PROBATION OR PAROLE AND THAT PERSON IS CURRENTLY AN ABSCON-
DER  FROM  PROBATION OR PAROLE SUPERVISION AND A WARRANT ALLEGING SUCH A
VIOLATION IS OUTSTANDING, OR THE  PERSON  HAS  BEEN  FOUND  BY  JUDICIAL

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13642-03-1

S. 6156                             2

DETERMINATION  TO  HAVE  VIOLATED PROBATION OR BY ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDI-
CATION BY THE DIVISION OF PAROLE TO HAVE VIOLATED PAROLE, OR THE  PERSON
IS  VIOLATING  A  CONDITION OF PROBATION OR PAROLE IMPOSED UNDER FEDERAL
LAW.
  2. WHERE AN AUTHORIZED PERSON REQUESTS INFORMATION REGARDING THE WANT-
ED FELON STATUS OR THE PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR STATUS, OF A SUBJECT
INDIVIDUAL  APPLYING  FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SECTION
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES  LAW,  SUCH  PERSON  SHALL
PROCEED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  3.  AN  AUTHORIZED  PERSON  REQUESTING  THE  WANTED  FELON  STATUS  OR
PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR STATUS, PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION  SHALL  DO
SO  BY  COMPLETING  A FORM ESTABLISHED FOR SUCH PURPOSE BY THE DIVISION.
SUCH FORM SHALL INCLUDE A  SWORN  STATEMENT  OF  THE  AUTHORIZED  PERSON
CERTIFYING THAT:
  (A)  THE  PERSON FOR WHOSE INFORMATION IS REQUESTED IS A SUBJECT INDI-
VIDUAL FOR WHOM INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE BY LAW;
  (B) THE RESULTS OF REQUEST WILL BE USED BY THE AUTHORIZED PERSON SOLE-
LY FOR PURPOSES AUTHORIZED BY LAW; AND
  (C) THE AUTHORIZED PERSON AND HIS OR  HER  AGENTS  AND  EMPLOYEES  ARE
AWARE  OF  AND  WILL  ABIDE  BY THE CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENTS AND ALL
OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 132  of  the  social  services  law,  as
amended  by  section 22 of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, is
amended to read as follows:
  1. (A) When an application for assistance or care is  received,  or  a
social  services official is informed that a person is in need of public
assistance and care, an investigation and record shall be  made  of  the
circumstances of such person. The object of such investigations shall be
to  secure  the  facts  necessary to determine whether such person is in
need of public assistance or care and what form thereof and  service  he
or  she  should receive AND TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH PERSON IS A WANTED
FELON  AS  DEFINED  IN  SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF   SECTION   EIGHT   HUNDRED
FORTY-FIVE-C  OF  THE EXECUTIVE LAW OR A PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE-C OF  THE
EXECUTIVE  LAW  AND  IF  SUCH  WARRANT OR VIOLATION EXISTS, WHETHER SUCH
PERSON WAS AWARE OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF SUCH WARRANT OR VIOLATION.
Information shall be sought as to the  residence  of  such  person,  the
name,  age,  religious  faith,  physical  condition,  earnings  or other
income, and ability to work of all members of the family, the  cause  of
the person's condition, the ability and willingness of the family, rela-
tives,  friends  and  church  to  assist, and such other facts as may be
useful in determining the  treatment  which  will  be  helpful  to  such
person.  However, nothing in this subdivision or elsewhere in this chap-
ter contained shall be construed to require a social  services  official
to  communicate  with  or  require assistance from any person or persons
liable by law to contribute to the support of a woman pregnant with,  or
the  mother  of, an out of wedlock child, in need of care away from home
during pregnancy and during and after delivery, in the  case  where  the
surrender  of the child to the social services official is under consid-
eration, for such period as may be necessary for such mother  and  offi-
cial  to  decide  whether  the child will be surrendered for adoption to
such official, which period shall not extend beyond  ninety  days  after
birth  of  the child. Except where the welfare official is in possession
of positive proof that the applicant is  receiving  or  is  eligible  to
receive  unemployment  insurance  benefits  and  the amount thereof such
investigations shall include written  request  to  the  commissioner  of

S. 6156                             3

labor  or his or her duly authorized officer charged with administration
of the unemployment insurance law for information as to  the  status  of
such person in respect to unemployment insurance benefits.
  (B)  THE  COMMISSIONER OF A SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT OR ANY AUTHORIZED
PERSON, AS DEFINED IN SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE-C OF  THE  EXECU-
TIVE LAW, SHALL REQUEST INFORMATION FOR EACH APPLICANT FROM THE DIVISION
OF  CRIMINAL  JUSTICE SERVICES, TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH APPLICANT IS A
WANTED FELON AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  SECTION  EIGHT  HUNDRED
FORTY-FIVE-C  OF  THE  EXECUTIVE  LAW OR PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE-C OF  THE
EXECUTIVE LAW.
  (C)  UPON  BEING INFORMED BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES
THAT AN APPLICANT IS A WANTED FELON OR A PROBATION OR  PAROLE  VIOLATOR,
PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE-C OF THE
EXECUTIVE  LAW,  THE COMMISSIONER SHALL INVESTIGATE TO DETERMINE WHETHER
THE APPLICANT IS AWARE OF HIS OR HER STATUS AND TO  DETERMINE  WHEN  THE
APPLICANT BECAME, OR SHOULD HAVE BECOME AWARE OF HIS OR HER STATUS.
  (D)  WHERE AN APPLICANT HAS NOT INITIALLY BEEN DETERMINED TO BE INELI-
GIBLE FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS BECAUSE OF A RELIANCE  ON  A  FALSE
STATEMENT  PROVIDED  IN  THE APPLICATION, HOWEVER IS SUBSEQUENTLY DETER-
MINED TO BE INELIGIBLE FOR SUCH ASSISTANCE, THE COMMISSIONER, ON  BEHALF
OF  THE  STATE  AND  THE  LOCAL  SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT SHALL HAVE THE
AUTHORITY TO RECOUP FROM THE  INDIVIDUAL  THE  SUMS  EXPENDED  FOR  SUCH
ASSISTANCE  DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME THAT SUCH PERSON RECEIVED BENEFITS
AND KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT THEIR STATEMENT  CLAIMING  THAT  THEY
ARE  NEITHER  A  WANTED FELON OR PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR STATUS WAS
FALSE.
  (E) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS IDENTIFIED, AND KNOWS SO OR IS NOTIFIED THER-
EOF, AS BEING A PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR, AS DEFINED IN  SUBDIVISION
ONE  OF  SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE-C OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW, IS NOT
ELIGIBLE FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE UNTIL HE OR SHE VERIFIES THAT HE  OR  SHE
HAS  BEEN  RESTORED  TO  PROBATION  OR PAROLE SUPERVISION, RELEASED FROM
CUSTODY, OR UNTIL THE PERSON'S MAXIMUM PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT OR  SUPER-
VISION HAS EXPIRED.
  S  3.  Paragraph  (b)  of subdivision 1 of section 145-b of the social
services law, as added by chapter 2 of the laws of 1998, is  amended  to
read as follows:
  (b)  For  purposes  of  this  section,  "statement  or representation"
includes, but is not limited to:
  (I) a claim for payment made to the state, a political subdivision  of
the  state, or an entity performing services under contract to the state
or a political subdivision of the state;
  (II) an acknowledgment, certification, claim, ratification  or  report
of  data  which  serves  as  the basis for a claim or a rate of payment,
financial information whether in a cost report or otherwise, health care
services available or rendered, and the qualifications of a person  that
is or has rendered health care services;
  (III)  AN  INTENTIONAL  INCORRECT  ANSWER, MADE BY THE APPLICANT, TO A
QUESTION ON AN APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE  REGARDING  THE  WANTED
FELON  AS DEFINED IN SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE-C OF THE EXECUTIVE
LAW STATUS OR PROBATION OR PAROLE VIOLATOR AS DEFINED IN  SECTION  EIGHT
HUNDRED  FORTY-FIVE-C  OF  THE EXECUTIVE LAW STATUS OF AN APPLICANT OR A
MEMBER OF HIS OR HER FAMILY.
  S 4. The state commissioner of social services, in  consultation  with
the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services, is hereby

S. 6156                             4

authorized  and  directed  to promulgate rules and regulations necessary
for the implementation of this act.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly,  the  addition,  amendment  and/or  repeal of any rule or regulation
necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective  date  are
authorized  and  directed  to  be  made  and completed on or before such
effective date.

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