senate Bill S1956

2013-2014 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 - In Committee


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

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Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to finance
Jan 09, 2013 referred to finance

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S1956 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4955
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Add §845-c, Exec L; amd §§132 & 145-b, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S6156, A8882

S1956 - 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:S1956

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 desig-
nees, 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 commis-
sioners 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, follow-
ing the federal ruling in FOWLEES 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 delib-
erately 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. Unfor-
tunately, it is unlikely that this is an isolated event.

Benefits are not designed for persons who are evading arrest ox 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: S6156 of 2012 - passed Senate

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1956

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  RITCHIE,  BALL,  DeFRANCISCO,  GALLIVAN,  LARKIN,
  RANZENHOFER, SEWARD, VALESKY -- 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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04866-01-3

S. 1956                             2

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
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-

S. 1956                             3

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
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

S. 1956                             4

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
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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