senate Bill S918

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Establishes the homeless protection act which designates certain offenses against homeless persons as hate crimes

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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 04, 2012 referred to codes
Jan 05, 2011 referred to codes

Co-Sponsors

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S918 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2453
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง485.05, Pen L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S8032A, A9222A

S918 - Bill Texts

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Establishes the homeless protection act which designates certain offenses against homeless persons as hate crimes; includes the definition of homelessness.

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BILL NUMBER:S918

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the penal law, in relation to designating offenses against
homeless persons as hate crimes

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill would protect the homeless from the abuse and attacks often
levied against them by designating such attacks as hate crimes.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Amends subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 485.05 of the penal law as
added by chapter 107 of the laws of 2000 to include "homelessness" as
a defining category in groups legally recognized as protected under
hate crimes law. Section 2 also defines the term "homelessness" as a
set of circumstances in which a person or persons are undomiciled,
with no address, regular residence, or resides in a place not
designed for regular sleeping accommodation, a shelter, a residential
program for victims of domestic violence or in a hotel/motel on a
temporary basis.

JUSTIFICATION:
In the summer of 2009 the National Coalition for the Homeless released
a report documenting a rise in violence against the homeless in the
past ten years. Over the last decade there have been approximately
860 attacks, and 244 of them resulted in the victim's death. These
unprovoked attacks are often perpetrated by young men with no
relation to the victim. They prey on, the homeless precisely because
they are vulnerable.
These attacks have been as extreme as setting a victim on fire, as
well as videotaping attacks to post on the Internet, only further
encouraging the maltreatment of the homeless. Designating these
attacks as hate crimes emphasizes the humanity of the homeless and
challenges the misconception that these are people who have been
forgotten.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010 - S.8032A/A.9222A Remained in the Senate Committee and
the Assembly Committee on Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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

                                   918

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  BRESLIN, ADAMS, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HUNTLEY, KLEIN,
  KRUEGER, OPPENHEIMER, PARKER, PERKINS,  STAVISKY  --  read  twice  and
  ordered  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on
  Codes

AN ACT to amend the penal  law,  in  relation  to  designating  offenses
  against homeless persons as hate crimes

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

  Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
the "homeless protection act".
  S  2.  Subdivisions  1, 2 and 4 of section 485.05 of the penal law, as
added by chapter 107 of the  laws  of  2000,  are  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  1.  A  person  commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified
offense and either:
  (a) intentionally selects the  person  against  whom  the  offense  is
committed  or  intended  to be committed in whole or in substantial part
because of a belief or perception regarding the  race,  color,  national
origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability,
HOMELESSNESS,  or  sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether
the belief or perception is correct, or
  (b) intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense  in
whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding
the  race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious
practice, age, disability, HOMELESSNESS,  or  sexual  orientation  of  a
person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.
  2.  Proof of race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion,
religious practice, age, disability, HOMELESSNESS, or sexual orientation
of the defendant, the victim or of both the  defendant  and  the  victim
does  not,  by itself, constitute legally sufficient evidence satisfying

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04141-01-1

S. 918                              2

the people's burden under paragraph (a) or (b)  of  subdivision  one  of
this section.
  4. For purposes of this section:
  (a) the term "age" means sixty years old or more;
  (b)  the  term "disability" means a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits a major life activity; AND
  (C) THE TERM "HOMELESSNESS" MEANS THE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH AN
INDIVIDUAL OR FAMILY IS UNDOMICILED, HAS NO FIXED ADDRESS, LACKS A FIXED
REGULAR NIGHTTIME RESIDENCE, RESIDES IN A  PLACE  NOT  DESIGNED  FOR  OR
ORDINARILY  USED  AS  A  REGULAR SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION FOR HUMAN BEINGS
(SUCH AS A HALLWAY, BUS STATION, LOBBY OR SIMILAR PLACE), RESIDES  IN  A
HOMELESS SHELTER, RESIDES IN A RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF DOMES-
TIC VIOLENCE, OR RESIDES IN A HOTEL/MOTEL ON A TEMPORARY BASIS.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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