senate Bill S6790

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Authorizes the free use of campsites to any person who is semi-ambulatory

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 22, 2012 referred to cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation

S6790 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง13.19, Pks & Rec L

S6790 - Bill Texts

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Authorizes the free use of campsites to any person who is semi-ambulatory.

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An act to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law,
in relation to the free use of campsites

To provide free access to state parks for semi ambulatory members of
our state.

Section one amends the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation law
to provide free access to our state parks and recreation areas.

Section two provides the effective date of the legislation.

Article 13 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation law
allows the blind, non-ambulatory, amputees and certain veterans of the
wars of the United States free access to state parks.

Current law allows the blind, the non ambulatory, amputees and certain
veterans free access to our state's public parks. Until 2010, those
who are semi ambulatory were also allowed access to our state parks by
qualifying for a free access pass. In 2010, this category was
eliminated, so that currently people who walk with a cane, crutches, a
walker or other mobility aid can no longer qualify for an Access Pass.
Also eliminated were individuals receiving federal Social Security
Disability, Supplemental Security Income or Railroad Disability. The
2010 changes came about in part as the result of an internal review of
the Access Pass system prompted by a New York Times story and other
reports of abuses by those in the latter category who were receiving
federal disability benefits and yet were able to golf for free.

There were no stories of abuses by semi ambulatory individuals -
deserving yet handicapped people who want to enjoy the benefits our
parks can offer them, and who, because of their disability are unable
to enjoy all of the benefits the fully able bodied have the chance to

In addition, while one of the reasons given by the Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation for the elimination of the two
categories in 2010 is that they are not categories contained in
statute, access passes are still (deservedly) given to the deaf and
those with mental disabilities, yet these are categories of
individuals who are also not included in the current law.

Certainly curbing abuses to the access pass system is a worthy
endeavor, however the removal of the semi ambulatory category has
prevented deserving individuals from accessing our park system as they
were able to do prior to 2010.

This is a new bill.

Fiscal impacts would be minimal. The access pass system was changed in
2010 to eliminate two categories of eligibility from the access pass
program: the semi ambulatory and individuals receiving social security
disability, social security insurance or a railroad retirement board
disability. The move was prompted by abuses by those receiving federal
retirement benefits. Adding back the category of semi ambulatory
would be in keeping with the purpose of the program which is to allow
state park access to the deserving disabled.



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


                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 22, 2012

Introduced  by  Sen. RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism,
  Parks and Recreation

AN ACT to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law,  in
  relation to the free use of campsites


  Section 1. Section 13.19 of the parks, recreation and historic preser-
vation law, as amended by chapter 649 of the laws of 1977, is amended to
read as follows:
  S 13.19 Free use of campsites.  Notwithstanding the provisions of  any
other  law, any person who is blind, non-ambulatory, SEMI-AMBULATORY, or
an amputee or any veteran of the wars of the United States, who  has  at
any time been awarded by the federal government an allowance towards the
purchase  of  an  automobile  or  is eligible for such an award shall be
permitted to use any of the public campsites,  parks  and  other  public
places  of  recreation in this state, upon the same terms and conditions
as apply to the general public, but without the payment of any  fees  or
other  charges  for  the  use  of such campsites, parks and other public
places of recreation.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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


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