senate Bill S7538

Signed By Governor
2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to the authority of district attorneys to hire and retain licensed professionals

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Aug 01, 2012 signed chap.358
Jul 20, 2012 delivered to governor
Jun 18, 2012 returned to senate
passed assembly
ordered to third reading rules cal.335
substituted for a10553a
referred to codes
delivered to assembly
passed senate
ordered to third reading cal.1290
committee discharged and committed to rules
May 31, 2012 referred to local government

Votes

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Co-Sponsors

S7538 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10553A
Law Section:
County Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง700, County L

S7538 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the authority of district attorneys to hire and retain licensed professionals.

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BILL NUMBER:S7538

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the county law, in relation to the authority of district
attorneys to hire and retain licensed professionals

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new subdivision 13 to section 700 of the County Law
which codifies the authority of District Attorneys to employ or contract
with licensed professionals in order to serve the mental health needs of
crime victims, witnesses, and others impacted by the criminal justice
system.

Section 2 makes the act effective immediately provided that, for
purposes of satisfying the experience requirements for licensure set
forth in Article 153, 154, or 163 of the Education Law, satisfactory
experience obtained in the office of a district attorney providing
services authorized in section 700 of the County Law may be accepted by
the Department of Education, notwithstanding that such experience may
have been obtained prior to the effective date of such section 700(13).

PURPOSE AND JUSTIFICATION:

New York State law was amended in 2002 by Chapter 420 to establish
restricted scopes of practice for social workers and Chapter 676 to do
the same for psychologists and mental health practitioners. As a result
of these laws, these professional services could be provided only by
licensed individuals, professional business entities, or those otherwise
authorized by law.

It quickly became apparent that these new laws would have the unintended
effect of prohibiting the provision of professional services in myriad
settings, such as not-for-profit service providers, schools, and reli-
gious institutions. Additionally, those seeking the experience required
for licensure could not count experience obtained in entities that
lacked the authority to provide professional services. The legislature
recognized this issue, and not wanting to disrupt vital crisis inter-
vention services, by Chapters 130 and 132 of the Laws of 2010, created a
waiver process so that affected organizations could continue legally
employing licensed professionals.

The waiver, however, is only available for educational, religious, or
not-for-profit institutions. Unfortunately, some long-established crit-
ical services take place outside of these categories. District Attor-
ney's Offices are one of the settings that continue to be impacted by
the statutory restrictions.

For more than a quarter of a century, District Attorney's Offices have
employed licensed mental health professionals to provide counseling,
crisis intervention, and support to victims, witnesses, and people who
have been impacted by crime or the criminal justice system. This inter-

vention recognizes that victims and witnesses often require easily
accessed, specialized services in order to process, and move forward
from, sometimes horrific crimes. Victims in an otherwise inherently
adversarial system often benefit substantially from clinical support,
and the fast intervention of forensic professionals provides victims and
witnesses with valuable connections to long-term, outside clinical
services that can help them continue the path to healing.

In addition, District Attorneys are increasingly embracing their inte-
gral roles in the new paradigm of problem-solving justice. To that end,
they are adopting innovative crime reduction and crime prevention strat-
egies that target individuals who are at risk of becoming involved or
re-involved in the criminal justice system. All too frequently, those
who engage in criminal conduct may themselves have been victims or
witnesses of abuse or other crimes. Clients who participate in the crime
reduction programs which are run or sponsored by District Attorney's
Offices benefit greatly from the expert counseling that licensed mental
health professionals can provide.

It is essential that these services continue. The licensed professionals
are practicing within their scopes of practice and are appropriately
supervised in accordance with the requirements of the education law and
regulation. Nearly three decades of clients, which now increasingly
encompass at-risk youth, can attest to why these services are absolutely
essential.

This bill codifies the right of a District Attorney to employ licensed
practitioners to provide mental health services to people who are
impacted by crime and the criminal justice system.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediate.

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

                                  7538

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 31, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  SALAND, GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government

AN ACT to amend the county law, in relation to the authority of district
  attorneys to hire and retain licensed professionals

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

  Section  1.  Section  700 of the county law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 13 to read as follows:
  13. IN ORDER TO PROVIDE SERVICES  TO  CRIME  VICTIMS,  WITNESSES,  AND
OTHER  PERSONS  INVOLVED  IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, AND TO SUPPORT
CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY MAY EMPLOY OR  CONTRACT
WITH PERSONS LICENSED AND REGISTERED TO PRACTICE OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED
UNDER  ARTICLE  ONE  HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE, ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR, OR ONE
HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THE EDUCATION  LAW,  OR  CONTRACT  WITH  ENTITIES
AUTHORIZED  TO  PROVIDE  THE  SERVICES  SPECIFIED  IN  SUCH ARTICLES, IN
CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISION OF ANY SERVICES THAT SUCH PERSONS OR ENTI-
TIES ARE AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE AND THAT ARE AUTHORIZED BY  THE  DISTRICT
ATTORNEY.
  S  2.  This  act  shall  take  effect  immediately, provided that, for
purposes of satisfying the experience  requirements  for  licensure  set
forth  in  article  153,  154, or 163 of the education law, satisfactory
experience obtained in the  office  of  a  district  attorney  providing
services  authorized in section 700 of the county law may be accepted by
the education department, notwithstanding that such experience may  have
been obtained prior to the effective date of this act.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD16103-01-2

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