senate Bill S4540

Signed By Governor
2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to changing the name of the commission for the blind and visually handicapped to the commission for the blind

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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
Jul 31, 2013 signed chap.265
Jul 19, 2013 delivered to governor
Jun 18, 2013 returned to senate
passed assembly
ordered to third reading rules cal.346
substituted for a7210
Jun 10, 2013 referred to children and families
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Apr 24, 2013 advanced to third reading
Apr 23, 2013 2nd report cal.
Apr 22, 2013 1st report cal.362
Apr 10, 2013 referred to children and families

Votes

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S4540 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7210
Law Section:
Civil Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§1, 3 & 11-a, Chap 415 of 1913; amd §§6 & 55-a, Civ Serv L; amd §215-a, Eld L; amd §5-211, El L; amd §537, Lab L; amd §1-c, Leg L; amd §3, Pub Bldg L; amd §§459, 459-b & 459-c, RPT L; amd §38, Soc Serv L; amd §§139-j & 162, St Fin L; amd §§171-a & 697, Tax L

S4540 - Bill Texts

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Changes the name of the commission for the blind and visually handicapped to the commission for the blind.

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BILL NUMBER:S4540

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 415 of the laws of 1913
relating to establishing a state commission for improving the
condition of the blind of the state of New York, in relation to
certain technical amendments; to amend the civil service law, elder
law, election law, the labor law, the legislative law, the public
buildings law, the real property tax law, the social services law, the
state finance law and the tax law, in relation to changing the name of
the commission for the blind and visually handicapped to the
commission for the blind

Purpose of Bill: To change the name of the Commission for the Blind
and Visually Handicapped to the Commission for the Blind.

Summary of Provisions:

Sections 1 through 22 amend various provisions of law that contain
references to the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped,
to remove the words "and Visually Handicapped" from the Commission's
name. Additionally, references to the former State Department of
Social Services are changed to the Office of Children and Family
Services (OCFS), and in one instance, in section 11, such reference is
changed to OCFS and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
(OTDA).

Section 23 provides that terms occurring in laws, regulations,
contracts and other documents that relate to the functions, powers,
obligations, duties, rights, remedies and officials of the Commission
for the Blind and Visually Handicapped shall be deemed to refer to the
Commission for the Blind.

Section 24 provides that no existing right or remedy of any character
shall be lost, impaired, or affected by this act.

Section 25 is a severability clause.

Section 26 provides that this act shall take effect immediately,
unless it is enacted before April 1, 2013, in which case it shall take
effect on April 1, 2013.

Existing Law: Chapter 415 of the Laws of 1913, as amended,
established the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped
within the New York State Department of Social Services. Such
Commission was established on April 1, 1913.

Chapter 436 of the Laws of 1997 renamed the New York State Department
of Social Services as the New York State Department of Family
Assistance and created two new state agencies under such department,
OCFS and OTDA, to assume many of the responsibilities of the former
Department of Social Services. As a result, the Commission for the
Blind and Visually Handicapped was moved from the Department of Social
Services to OCFS.

Legislative History: This is a new bill.


Statement in Support: Many New Yorkers who are not legally blind have
visual limitations that can be addressed through the use of vision
aids such as glasses or contact lenses, and, therefore, those
limitations do not substantially impact those persons' daily
activities or functioning. Furthermore, the scope of the obligations
of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped is limited to
providing specified services for individuals who are legally blind.
Therefore, changing the Commission's name to the Commission for the
Blind removes offensive language from the Commission's designation,
eliminates confusion, and better aligns the Commission's title to its
functions.

Budget Implications: This bill is expected to have a negligible cost
which could be absorbed within OCFS' base budget for the Commission.

Effective Date: The bill will take effect immediately, unless it is
enacted prior to April 1, 2013, in which case it will take erect on
April 1, 2013, to coincide with the one hundred year anniversary of
the Commission's establishment.

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

                                  4540

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 10, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. FELDER -- (at request of the Office of Children and
  Family Services) -- read twice and ordered printed, and  when  printed
  to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families

AN ACT to amend chapter 415 of the laws of 1913 relating to establishing
  a  state  commission  for  improving the condition of the blind of the
  state of New York, in relation to  certain  technical  amendments;  to
  amend  the  civil service law, elder law, election law, the labor law,
  the legislative law, the public buildings law, the real  property  tax
  law,  the  social services law, the state finance law and the tax law,
  in relation to changing the name of the commission for the  blind  and
  visually handicapped to the commission for the blind

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

  Section 1. Section 1 of chapter 415 of the laws of 1913,  establishing
a state commission for improving the condition of the blind of the state
of  New  York, as amended by chapter 520 of the laws of 1977, is amended
to read as follows:
  There shall be established a state commission, to be known as the  New
York state commission for the blind [and visually handicapped], consist-
ing  of  five  persons,  at  least two of whom shall be blind persons as
defined in this act, to be appointed by the governor within  sixty  days
after  the  passage  of this act. No person appointed to this commission
shall serve thereon while serving as an  official  of  any  workshop  or
school wherein blind people may be placed.
  S  2.  Subdivision  a of section 3 of chapter 415 of the laws of 1913,
establishing a state commission for  improving  the  conditions  of  the
blind of the state of New York, as amended by chapter 520 of the laws of
1977, is amended to read as follows:
  a. It shall be the duty of this commission to cause to be maintained a
complete  register  of  the  blind in the state of New York, which shall
describe the condition, cause of blindness, capacity for  education  and

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09081-02-3

S. 4540                             2

industrial  training  of  each, with such other facts as may seem to the
commission to be of value. It shall be the  duty  of  every  health  and
social  agency, or nurse to report to the state commission for the blind
[and  visually  handicapped,] in writing, the name, age and residence of
each blind person. It shall be the duty of every optometrist  to  report
to said commission in writing, the name, age and residence of each blind
person.  It  shall be the duty of each attending or consulting physician
to report to said commission, in writing, the name, age and residence of
each blind person. In such cases such persons shall furnish  such  addi-
tional  information  as the commission shall request for registration or
prevention of blindness.
  S 3. Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 7 of subdivision  a  of  section  11-a  of
chapter 415 of the laws of 1913, establishing a commission for improving
the condition of the blind of the state of New York, as added by chapter
693 of the laws of 1992, are amended to read as follows:
  2.  "Business  enterprise program" means the vending program for blind
vendors  established  in  regulations  of  the  [department  of   social
services]  OFFICE  OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES and in the provisions
of this section.
  3. "Commission" means the New York state commission for the blind [and
visually handicapped].
  4. "Commissioner" means the  commissioner  of  [social  services]  THE
OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES.
  7.  "Permit"  means  the  official  approval  given the [department of
social services] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES by a department,
agency or instrumentality in control of the maintenance,  operation  and
protection  of  the  property,  whereby  the commission is authorized to
establish a vending facility.
  S 4. Paragraphs 1 and 2 of subdivision b of section  11-a  of  chapter
415  of  the  laws  of 1913, establishing a commission for improving the
condition of the blind of the state of New York, as added by chapter 693
of the laws of 1992, are amended to read as follows:
  1. For the  purpose  of  providing  blind  persons  with  remunerative
employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stim-
ulating  the  blind  to  greater  efforts in striving to make themselves
self-supporting, blind persons licensed by the New York state commission
for the blind [and visually handicapped] shall be authorized to  operate
vending facilities on any state property, with no rental or other charge
therefor.
  2. In authorizing the operation of vending facilities on state proper-
ty,  priority  shall  be given to blind persons licensed by the New York
state commission for the blind [and visually handicapped].  The  commis-
sioner, after consultation with the commissioner of the office of gener-
al  services,  shall  prescribe  regulations designed to assure that the
priority under this paragraph is given to such  licensed  blind  persons
(including  assignment of vending machine income pursuant to subdivision
e of this section to achieve and protect such priority).
  S 5. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph 3 of subdivision b of section  11-a
of  chapter  415  of  the  laws  of  1913, establishing a commission for
improving the condition of the blind  of  the  state  of  New  York,  as
amended  by  chapter  532  of  the  laws  of 2010, is amended to read as
follows:
  (A) Wherever feasible, permits shall be issued to the  [department  of
social]  OFFICE  OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY services for one or more vending
facilities to be established on all state property or any building which
houses any authority, agency or entity whose board of directors or exec-

S. 4540                             3

utives are appointed by the governor, or  any  airport  located  in  the
state  of  New  York, to the extent that any such facility or facilities
would not adversely affect the interests of the state.
  S  6.  Paragraph  1 of subdivision c of section 11-a of chapter 415 of
the laws of 1913, establishing a commission for improving the  condition
of  the  blind  of the state of New York, as added by chapter 693 of the
laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  1. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations for the licensing  of
blind  vendors  which  regulations shall include provisions that the New
York state commission for the blind [and visually handicapped] shall, in
issuing each such license for the operation of a vending facility,  give
preference  to  blind  persons  who are in need of employment. Each such
license shall be issued for an indefinite period but may  be  terminated
by  the  commission  if  it  is satisfied that the facility is not being
operated in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by  the
[department  of social services] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES.
Licenses shall be issued only to applicants who are blind.
  S 7. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph 3 of subdivision c of section  11-a
of  chapter  415  of  the  laws  of  1913, establishing a commission for
improving the condition of the blind of the state of New York, as  added
by chapter 693 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  (A)  After  January  first of the year following the effective date of
this section, no department, agency  or  instrumentality  of  the  state
shall  undertake  to  acquire  by ownership, rent, lease or to otherwise
occupy, in whole or in part,  any  building  unless  the  head  of  such
department,  agency  or  instrumentality  consults  with  the commission
concerning the suitability of such site for the operation of  a  vending
facility  by  a blind person. Each such department, agency or instrumen-
tality shall provide notice to the New York  state  commission  for  the
blind  [and  visually handicapped] of its plans for occupation, acquisi-
tion, renovation or alteration of a building  adequate  to  permit  such
commission  to  determine  whether such building includes a satisfactory
site or sites for a vending facility.
  S 8. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 6 of the civil  service
law,  as  amended by chapter 232 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read
as follows:
  (c) rules for sick leaves, vacations, time allowances and other condi-
tions of employment in the classified service of the state and, notwith-
standing any other provision of this chapter  or  any  other  law,  such
rules  may provide for cash payment of the monetary value of accumulated
and unused vacation or time  allowances  granted  in  lieu  of  overtime
compensation standing to the credit of an employee at the time of his or
her separation from service or his or her entrance into the armed forces
of  the  United  States  for  active  duty  (other than for training) as
defined by title ten of the United States  code,  whether  or  not  such
entrance  constitutes  a separation from service, and for the payment of
the monetary value of his or her accumulated and unused time  allowances
granted  in  lieu  of overtime compensation standing to the credit of an
employee at the time of his or her appointment,  promotion  or  transfer
from  the department or agency in which such time allowances were earned
to another department or agency and provided further  however  that  any
such rules or regulations shall provide that individuals certified by an
examining  physician  as  benefiting from the use of a service animal in
performing major life activities, individuals registered  with  the  New
York state commission for the blind [and visually handicapped] as legal-
ly  blind or certified by an examining physician or licensed optometrist

S. 4540                             4

as legally blind, as manifested by visual acuity of 20/200  or  less  in
the  better  eye  with  best correction or visual field of 20 degrees or
less, and individuals who have a  hearing  impairment  manifested  by  a
speech  discrimination  score of forty percent or less in the better ear
with appropriate correction as certified by an examining physician or  a
licensed  audiologist  or  otorhinolaryngologist  as  defined in section
seven hundred eighty-nine of the general business law,  or  a  physician
who has examined such person pursuant to the provisions of section seven
hundred  ninety-two  of  such  law,  may charge against accumulated sick
leave credits and upon written agreement between the individual and  the
employer, may borrow against sick leave credits not yet accumulated, for
the  purpose  of  obtaining  service animals or guide dogs and necessary
training, up to a maximum of twenty-six days in any one  calendar  year;
and
  S 9. Subdivisions 2 and 3 of section 55-a of the civil service law, as
amended  by  chapter  320  of  the  laws of 1985, are amended to read as
follows:
  2. Upon such a determination, such positions shall  be  classified  in
the non-competitive class, and shall be filled by persons who shall have
been  certified  by  either  the  commission for the blind [and visually
handicapped] in the state [department  of  social  services]  OFFICE  OF
CHILDREN  AND  FAMILY SERVICES as physically disabled by blindness or by
the state education department as otherwise physically or mentally disa-
bled and, in any event, qualified to perform satisfactorily  the  duties
of  any such position. At least three hundred of such positions shall be
filled by persons who have been certified as physically disabled. If  no
qualified  physically  disabled persons have applied for such positions,
the municipal civil service commission may fill those unfilled positions
with qualified mentally disabled persons.
  3. Prior to making certification of physically  or  mentally  disabled
persons for any such position, the commission for the blind [and visual-
ly  handicapped] in the case of persons physically disabled by blindness
or the state education department in the case of persons otherwise phys-
ically or mentally disabled shall obtain from the appropriate  municipal
civil  service  commission  a  detailed description of all duties of the
position, and shall investigate the extent of the disability by examina-
tion of any such person or otherwise, and shall determine and report its
findings to the appropriate civil service commission, as to the  ability
of  the  disabled  person  to  perform the duties of such position. Such
findings shall be given due consideration by the municipal civil service
commission.
  S 10. Subdivisions 2 and 3 of section 215-a of the elder law, as added
by chapter 573 of the laws of 2007, are amended to read as follows:
  2. The director, in consultation with the New  York  state  commission
for  the  blind  [and  visually  handicapped],  is hereby authorized and
directed, subject to the availability of appropriations, to establish  a
program  of  senior vision services grants to assist in the provision of
vision services to elderly persons with functional visual impairments.
  3. The director, in consultation with the New  York  state  commission
for  the  blind  [and  visually  handicapped], shall award senior vision
services grants to not-for-profit corporations which demonstrate:
  (a) the ability to provide senior vision services;
  (b) a commitment to provide such services to visually impaired persons
or specialized training in providing such services to  persons  who  are
blind or visually impaired; and

S. 4540                             5

  (c) other such factors as may be determined by the director in consul-
tation  with  the  state  commission  for  the blind [and visually hand-
icapped].
  S  11.  The opening paragraph of section 5-211 of the election law, as
amended by chapter 200 of the laws  of  1996,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  Agency assisted registration.  Each agency designated as a participat-
ing  agency  under  the  provisions  of this section shall implement and
administer a program of distribution of voter registration forms  pursu-
ant  to  the  provisions  of  this  section. The following offices which
provide public assistance and/or provide state funded programs primarily
engaged in providing services to persons with  disabilities  are  hereby
designated  as  voter  registration  agencies:   designated as the state
agencies which provide public assistance are the [department  of  social
services]  OFFICE  OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, THE OFFICE OF TEMPO-
RARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE and  the  department  of  health.    Also
designated  as  public  assistance  agencies  are  all agencies of local
government that provide such assistance. Designated  as  state  agencies
that  provide programs primarily engaged in providing services to people
with disabilities are the department of labor,  office  for  the  aging,
division  of veterans' affairs, office of mental health, office of voca-
tional and  educational  services  for  individuals  with  disabilities,
commission  on  quality  of  care  for  the mentally disabled, office of
mental retardation and developmental disabilities,  commission  for  the
blind  [and  visually  handicapped],  office of alcoholism and substance
abuse services, the office of the advocate  for  the  disabled  and  all
offices  which  administer  programs established or funded by such agen-
cies. Additional state agencies designated as voter registration offices
are the department of state and the division of  workers'  compensation.
Such  agencies  shall  be  required to offer voter registration forms to
persons upon initial application  for  services,  renewal  or  recertif-
ication  for  services  and change of address relating to such services.
Such agencies shall also be  responsible  for  providing  assistance  to
applicants  in completing voter registration forms, receiving and trans-
mitting the completed application form from all applicants who  wish  to
have  such  form  transmitted to the appropriate board of elections. The
state board of elections shall, together  with  representatives  of  the
department  of  defense,  develop and implement procedures for including
recruitment offices of the armed forces of the United  States  as  voter
registration offices when such offices are so designated by federal law.
The state board shall also make request of the United States Immigration
and  Naturalization  Service to include applications for registration by
mail with any materials which are given to new  citizens.    All  insti-
tutions  of  the state university of New York and the city university of
New York, shall, at the beginning of the school year, and again in Janu-
ary of a year in which the president of  the  United  States  is  to  be
elected, provide an application for registration to each student in each
such  institution.    The  state  board of elections may, by regulation,
grant a waiver from any or all of the requirements of  this  section  to
any  office  or  program  of  an agency, if it determines that it is not
feasible for such office or program to administer such requirement.
  S 12. Clause 9 of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph g of subdivision 3 of
section 537 of the labor law, as added by chapter 551  of  the  laws  of
2008, is amended to read as follows:
  (9)  the  commission  for the blind [and visually handicapped] for the
evaluation of the effect on earnings of participants, or former  partic-

S. 4540                             6

ipants, in employment and training programs for which the commission for
the blind [and visually handicapped] has reporting, monitoring or evalu-
ating responsibilities.
  S  13. Subparagraph (G) of paragraph (x) of subdivision (c) of section
1-c of the legislative law, as added by chapter 1 of the laws  of  2005,
is amended to read as follows:
  (G)  Any  activity  relating  to  governmental procurements made under
section one hundred sixty-two of the state finance law undertaken by (i)
the non-profit-making agencies appointed  pursuant  to  paragraph  e  of
subdivision  six  of  section one hundred sixty-two of the state finance
law by the commissioner of the office of children and  family  services,
the  commission for the blind [and visually handicapped], or the commis-
sioner of education, and (ii) the qualified charitable non-profit-making
agencies for the blind, and qualified charitable non-profit-making agen-
cies for other severely disabled persons as  identified  in  subdivision
two of section one hundred sixty-two of the state finance law; provided,
however,  that  any  attempt  to  influence the issuance or terms of the
specifications that serve as the basis for bid documents,  requests  for
proposals,  invitations  for bids, or solicitations of proposals, or any
other method for soliciting a response from offerers intending to result
in a procurement contract with a state agency,  the  state  legislature,
the  unified  court system, a municipal agency or local legislative body
shall not be exempt from  the  definition  of  "lobbying"  or  "lobbying
activities" under this subparagraph;
  S  14.  Paragraphs  (b)  and (c) of subdivision 13 of section 3 of the
public buildings law, as added by chapter 83 of the laws  of  1995,  are
amended to read as follows:
  (b)  Issue  to the [state department of social] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND
FAMILY services a permit for any  of  the  purposes  mentioned  in  this
subdivision  to  be  operated by a blind person or persons as defined in
subdivision four of section two hundred eight of the social services law
or for the operation of vending machines and similar devices  dispensing
food,  confections, tobacco products, coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks and
such other articles as may be approved by him  or  her  in  consultation
with  the [department of social] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY services,
for the benefit of the  general  purposes  of  the  business  enterprise
program  for  the  blind  of  the [state department of social] OFFICE OF
CHILDREN AND FAMILY services commission  for  the  blind  [and  visually
handicapped], and upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner may
deem proper but without provision for payment of rent or other consider-
ation  for  such permits, and for a term not exceeding five years, which
permit may  be  extended  and  renewed.  Such  permit  shall  include  a
provision  authorizing the [department of social] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND
FAMILY services to assign or transfer such permit to a blind  person  or
persons, as herein referred to, for the purposes aforesaid, and it shall
also  provide  that  the  [department  of social] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND
FAMILY services shall send to the commissioner a notice of  any  assign-
ment  or transfer as aforesaid, which notice shall contain such informa-
tion as the commissioner shall require. The permit and any assignment or
transfer thereof shall reserve (i) to the [department of social]  OFFICE
OF  CHILDREN  AND  FAMILY  services  the  power  of supervision over the
conduct and operation of the premises covered thereby and  (ii)  to  the
commissioner  of general services the right to revoke such permit or the
assignment or transfer thereof  upon  the  mailing  to  the  last  known
address  of  the assignee or assignees a notice of such revocation to be

S. 4540                             7

effected within such period of time as the commissioner shall deem to be
reasonable.
  (c)  If  he  or  she shall deem it necessary to cause the removal of a
lessee, licensee or assignee from the demised premises, other  than  the
New  York  state commission for the blind [and visually handicapped], or
its licensee, the commissioner  of  general  services  shall  cause  the
lessee, licensee or assignee and his or her representative to be removed
therefrom  and  the  possession  to  be delivered to the commissioner of
general services in the same manner and  by  the  same  proceedings  and
before  the  same  officers as provided for in article seven of the real
property actions and proceedings law. The proceedings shall  be  brought
in  the  name of the commissioner of general services as an agent of the
state. If any person proceeded against shall contest the petition by  an
answer  raising  any  material issue the attorney general shall be noti-
fied, and he or she thereafter shall represent  the  petitioner  in  the
proceedings.
  S  15.  Subdivision  2 of section 459 of the real property tax law, as
added by chapter 200 of the laws of 1983,  and  as  further  amended  by
section  1  of  part  W of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010, is amended to
read as follows:
  2. To qualify as physically disabled for the purposes of this section,
an individual shall submit to the assessor a certified statement from  a
physician  licensed  to  practice  in the state on a form prescribed and
made available by the commissioner which states that the individual  has
a  permanent  physical impairment which substantially limits one or more
of such individual's major life activities, except  that  an  individual
who  has  obtained a certificate from the state commission for the blind
[and visually handicapped] stating that such individual is legally blind
may submit such certificate in lieu of a  physician's  certified  state-
ment.
  S  16. Subdivision 2 of section 459-b of the real property tax law, as
amended by section 51 of part A-1 of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010, and
as further amended by section 1 of part W of chapter 56 of the  laws  of
2010, is amended to read as follows:
  2.  To qualify as a physically disabled crime victim or good samaritan
for the purposes of this section, an  individual  shall  submit  to  the
assessor  a certified statement from a physician licensed to practice in
the state of New York on a form prescribed and  made  available  by  the
commissioner  which  states that the individual has a permanent physical
impairment which substantially limits one or more of  such  individual's
major  life  activities,  except  that  an individual who has obtained a
certificate from the state commission for the blind [and visually  hand-
icapped]  stating  that such individual is legally blind may submit such
certificate in lieu of a physician's certified statement. In addition, a
copy of a police report pertaining to the crime from  which  the  injury
resulted,  a report from the office of victim services or other evidence
or documentation which would tend to substantiate that a physical  disa-
bility  was  inflicted upon an individual as the result of a crime shall
also be submitted to the assessor.
  S 17. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of  section  459-c  of  the  real
property  tax  law,  as  amended  by chapter 353 of the laws of 2009, is
amended to read as follows:
  (b) a person with a disability is one who has  a  physical  or  mental
impairment, not due to current use of alcohol or illegal drug use, which
substantially  limits  such  person's  ability  to engage in one or more
major life activities, such as caring for one's self, performing  manual

S. 4540                             8

tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and work-
ing,  and  who  (i)  is  certified to receive social security disability
insurance (SSDI) or supplemental security income  (SSI)  benefits  under
the  federal  Social Security Act, or (ii) is certified to receive Rail-
road Retirement Disability benefits under the federal  railroad  Retire-
ment  Act, or (iii) has received a certificate from the state commission
for the blind [and visually handicapped] stating  that  such  person  is
legally  blind,  or  (iv) is certified to receive a United States Postal
Service disability pension, or (v) is  certified  to  receive  a  United
States  department of veterans affairs disability pension pursuant to 38
U.S.C. S1521.
  An award letter from the Social Security Administration or  the  Rail-
road  Retirement  Board,  or a certificate from the state commission for
the blind [and visually handicapped], or an award letter from the United
States Postal Service, or an award letter from the United States depart-
ment of veterans affairs shall be submitted as proof of disability.
  S 18. Section 38 of the social services law, as amended by chapter 520
of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows:
  S 38. Commission for the blind [and visually handicapped].    The  New
York  state  commission  for  the blind [and visually handicapped] shall
continue to exercise and perform its duties, as prescribed by  law,  and
the  regulations  of  the  [department]  OFFICE  OF  CHILDREN AND FAMILY
SERVICES subject to the supervision and control of the commissioner; and
such commission shall be a bureau of the [department] OFFICE OF CHILDREN
AND FAMILY SERVICES.
  S 19. Subparagraph 9 of paragraph a of subdivision 3 of section  139-j
of  the  state finance law, as amended by chapter 4 of the laws of 2010,
is amended to read as follows:
  (9) Any communications relating to  a  governmental  procurement  made
under  section one hundred sixty-two of the state finance law undertaken
by (i) the non-profit-making agencies appointed pursuant to paragraph  e
of subdivision six of section one hundred sixty-two of the state finance
law  by  the commissioner of the office of children and family services,
the commission for the blind [and visually handicapped], or the  commis-
sioner of education, and (ii) the qualified charitable non-profit-making
agencies for the blind, and qualified charitable non-profit-making agen-
cies  for  other  severely disabled persons as identified in subdivision
two of section one hundred sixty-two of this chapter; provided, however,
that any communications which attempt to influence the issuance or terms
of the specifications  that  serve  as  the  basis  for  bid  documents,
requests  for  proposals,  invitations  for  bids,  or  solicitations of
proposals, or any other method for soliciting a response  from  offerers
intending  to  result in a procurement contract with a state agency, the
state legislature, the unified court system, a municipal agency or local
legislative body shall not be exempt from the provisions of  this  para-
graph;
  provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed
as recognizing or creating any new rights, duties or responsibilities or
abrogating  any  existing  rights,  duties  or  responsibilities  of any
governmental entity as it pertains to implementation and enforcement  of
article  eleven  of  this  chapter or any other provision of law dealing
with the governmental procurement process,  and  that  nothing  in  this
subdivision  shall  be  interpreted  to limit the authority of a govern-
mental entity involved in a government procurement  by  exercise  of  an
oversight  function from providing information to offerers regarding the
status of the review, oversight, or approval of a governmental  procure-

S. 4540                             9

ment  that has been submitted to or is under review by that governmental
entity.
  S 20. Paragraph e of subdivision 6 of section 162 of the state finance
law,  as  added by chapter 83 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as
follows:
  e. The [state] commissioner of [social services] THE OFFICE  OF  CHIL-
DREN AND FAMILY SERVICES shall appoint the New York state commission for
the blind [and visually handicapped], or other non-profit-making agency,
other  than  the  agency  representing  the  other severely disabled, to
facilitate the distribution of orders among qualified  non-profit-making
charitable  agencies  for the blind. The state commissioner of education
shall appoint a non-profit-making agency, other than the agency  repres-
enting  the blind, to facilitate the distribution of orders among quali-
fied non-profit-making charitable agencies for the other severely  disa-
bled  and  the  veterans'  workshops.   The state commissioner of mental
health shall facilitate  the  distribution  of  orders  among  qualified
special employment programs operated or approved by the office of mental
health serving mentally ill persons.
  S 21. Subdivision 6 of section 171-a of the tax law, as added by chap-
ter 656 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
  (6)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commis-
sioner shall enter into a cooperative agreement with the office of voca-
tional and educational services for individuals with disabilities of the
education department, the commission for the blind [and  visually  hand-
icapped]  and  any  other  state vocational rehabilitation agency, which
agreement shall provide for  the  utilization  of  information  obtained
pursuant  to  subdivision one of this section, for purposes of obtaining
reimbursement  from  the  federal  social  security  administration  for
expenditures  made  by  such  office,  commission or agency on behalf of
disabled individuals who have achieved economic self-sufficiency.
  S 22. Paragraph 3 of subdivision (e) of section 697 of the tax law, as
amended by chapter 206 of the laws  of  2011,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  (3)  Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the department, its
officers or employees from  furnishing  information  to  the  office  of
temporary and disability assistance relating to the payment of the cred-
it for certain household and dependent care services necessary for gain-
ful  employment  under subsection (c) of section six hundred six of this
article and the earned income credit under subsection (d) of section six
hundred six of this article and the enhanced earned income credit  under
subsection (d-1) of section six hundred six of this article, or pursuant
to  a  local law enacted by a city having a population of one million or
more pursuant to subsection (f) of section thirteen hundred ten of  this
chapter,  only  to  the  extent  necessary  to calculate qualified state
expenditures under paragraph seven of subdivision (a)  of  section  four
hundred nine of the federal social security act or to document the prop-
er  expenditure of federal temporary assistance for needy families funds
under section four hundred three of such act. The  office  of  temporary
and  disability assistance may redisclose such information to the United
States department of health and human services only to the extent neces-
sary to calculate such qualified state expenditures or to  document  the
proper  expenditure of such federal temporary assistance for needy fami-
lies funds. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit  the  delivery
by  the  commissioner to a commissioner of jurors, appointed pursuant to
section five hundred four of the judiciary law, or, in  counties  within
cities  having  a population of one million or more, to the county clerk

S. 4540                            10

of such county, of a mailing list of  individuals  to  whom  income  tax
forms are mailed by the commissioner for the sole purpose of compiling a
list of prospective jurors as provided in article sixteen of the judici-
ary law. Provided, however, such delivery shall only be made pursuant to
an order of the chief administrator of the courts, appointed pursuant to
section  two  hundred  ten  of  the  judiciary law. No such order may be
issued unless such chief administrator is satisfied  that  such  mailing
list  is  needed  to compile a proper list of prospective jurors for the
county for which such order is sought and that, in view of the responsi-
bilities imposed by the various laws of the state on the department,  it
is  reasonable  to  require  the commissioner to furnish such list. Such
order shall provide that such list shall be used for the sole purpose of
compiling a list of prospective jurors and  that  such  commissioner  of
jurors,  or  such county clerk, shall take all necessary steps to insure
that the list is kept confidential and that there is no unauthorized use
or disclosure  of  such  list.  Furthermore,  nothing  herein  shall  be
construed  to  prohibit  the  delivery  to a taxpayer or his or her duly
authorized representative of a certified copy of any  return  or  report
filed  in  connection with his or her tax or to prohibit the publication
of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of  partic-
ular  reports or returns and the items thereof, or the inspection by the
attorney general or other legal representatives  of  the  state  of  the
report  or return of any taxpayer or of any employer filed under section
one hundred seventy-one-h  of  this  chapter,  where  such  taxpayer  or
employer  shall bring action to set aside or review the tax based there-
on, or against whom an action or proceeding under this chapter or  under
this  chapter and article eighteen of the labor law has been recommended
by the commissioner, the commissioner of labor with respect to unemploy-
ment insurance matters, or the attorney general or has been  instituted,
or  the inspection of the reports or returns required under this article
by the comptroller or duly designated officer or employee of  the  state
department  of  audit and control, for purposes of the audit of a refund
of any tax paid by a taxpayer under this article, or the  furnishing  to
the  state  department  of  labor  of unemployment insurance information
obtained or derived from quarterly combined withholding, wage  reporting
and  unemployment  insurance  returns  required to be filed by employers
pursuant to paragraph four of subsection  (a)  of  section  six  hundred
seventy-four  of  this  article,  for purposes of administration of such
department's  unemployment  insurance   program,   employment   services
program,  federal and state employment and training programs, employment
statistics and labor  market  information  programs,  worker  protection
programs,  federal  programs for which the department has administrative
responsibility or for other purposes deemed appropriate by  the  commis-
sioner  of  labor  consistent  with the provisions of the labor law, and
redisclosure of such information in accordance with  the  provisions  of
sections  five  hundred  thirty-six and five hundred thirty-seven of the
labor law or any other applicable law, or the furnishing  to  the  state
office of temporary and disability assistance of information obtained or
derived  from New York state personal income tax returns as described in
paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section one hundred seventy-one-g of
this chapter for the purpose of reviewing support orders enforced pursu-
ant to title six-A of article three of the social services law to aid in
the determination of whether such orders  should  be  adjusted,  or  the
furnishing  of  information  obtained  from  the  reports required to be
submitted by employers  regarding  newly  hired  or  re-hired  employees
pursuant  to  section  one  hundred seventy-one-h of this chapter to the

S. 4540                            11

state office of temporary and disability assistance, the  state  depart-
ment  of  health, the state department of labor and the workers' compen-
sation board  for  purposes  of  administration  of  the  child  support
enforcement program, verification of individuals' eligibility for one or
more  of  the  programs  specified  in  subsection (b) of section eleven
hundred thirty-seven of the federal social security act  and  for  other
public  assistance  programs authorized by state law, and administration
of the state's employment security and workers'  compensation  programs,
and  to  the  national  directory  of  new hires established pursuant to
section four hundred fifty-three-A of the federal  social  security  act
for  the  purposes  specified  in such section, or the furnishing to the
state office of temporary and disability assistance of the amount of  an
overpayment  of  income  tax and interest thereon certified to the comp-
troller to be credited against past-due support pursuant to section  one
hundred seventy-one-c of this chapter and of the name and social securi-
ty  number  of the taxpayer who made such overpayment, or the disclosing
to the commissioner of finance of the city  of  New  York,  pursuant  to
section  one  hundred seventy-one-l of this chapter, of the amount of an
overpayment and interest thereon certified  to  the  comptroller  to  be
credited against a city of New York tax warrant judgment debt and of the
name  and  social security number of the taxpayer who made such overpay-
ment, or the furnishing to the New York state higher education  services
corporation  of  the amount of an overpayment of income tax and interest
thereon certified to the comptroller to be credited against  the  amount
of  a  default  in repayment of any education loan debt, including judg-
ments, owed to the federal or New York state government  that  is  being
collected  by  the New York state higher education services corporation,
and of the name and social security number of the taxpayer who made such
overpayment, or the furnishing to the state department of health of  the
information required by paragraph (f) of subdivision two and subdivision
two-a  of  section two thousand five hundred eleven of the public health
law and by subdivision eight of section three  hundred  sixty-six-a  and
paragraphs  (b)  and  (d)  of  subdivision  two of section three hundred
sixty-nine-ee of the social services law, or the furnishing to the state
university of New York or the city university of New  York  respectively
or  the  attorney general on behalf of such state or city university the
amount of an overpayment of income tax and interest thereon certified to
the comptroller to be credited against the amount of a default in repay-
ment of a state university loan pursuant to section one  hundred  seven-
ty-one-e  of  this chapter and of the name and social security number of
the taxpayer who made such overpayment, or the  disclosing  to  a  state
agency,  pursuant  to section one hundred seventy-one-f of this chapter,
of the amount of an overpayment and interest thereon  certified  to  the
comptroller  to  be credited against a past-due legally enforceable debt
owed to such agency and of the name and social security  number  of  the
taxpayer  who  made  such overpayment, or the furnishing of employee and
employer information obtained through the wage reporting system,  pursu-
ant  to  section  one hundred seventy-one-a of this chapter, as added by
chapter five hundred forty-five of the laws of nineteen  hundred  seven-
ty-eight,  to  the  state office of temporary and disability assistance,
the department of health or to the state office of the medicaid  inspec-
tor general for the purpose of verifying eligibility for and entitlement
to  amounts  of benefits under the social services law or similar law of
another jurisdiction, locating absent parents or other  persons  legally
responsible  for  the  support of applicants for or recipients of public
assistance and care under the social services law  and  persons  legally

S. 4540                            12

responsible for the support of a recipient of services under section one
hundred  eleven-g  of the social services law and, in appropriate cases,
establishing support obligations pursuant to the social services law and
the family court act or similar provision of law of another jurisdiction
for the purpose of evaluating the effect on earnings of participation in
employment, training or other programs designed to promote self-suffici-
ency  authorized  pursuant to the social services law by current recipi-
ents of public assistance and care and by former applicants and  recipi-
ents  of  public assistance and care, (except that with regard to former
recipients, information which relates to a particular  former  recipient
shall  be  provided  with client identifying data deleted), to the state
office of temporary and disability assistance for the purpose of  deter-
mining  the eligibility of any child in the custody, care and custody or
custody and guardianship of a local social services district or  of  the
office  of  children and family services for federal payments for foster
care and adoption assistance pursuant to the provisions of title IV-E of
the federal social security act by providing information with respect to
the parents, the stepparents, the child and the siblings  of  the  child
who  were  living  in  the same household as such child during the month
that the court proceedings leading  to  the  child's  removal  from  the
household  were  initiated,  or the written instrument transferring care
and custody of the child pursuant to the  provisions  of  section  three
hundred  fifty-eight-a  or  three  hundred  eighty-four-a  of the social
services law was signed, provided however that the office  of  temporary
and disability assistance shall only use the information obtained pursu-
ant  to  this subdivision for the purpose of determining the eligibility
of such child for federal payments for foster care and adoption  assist-
ance  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of title IV-E of the federal social
security act, and to the state department of labor, or other individuals
designated by the commissioner of labor, for the purpose of the adminis-
tration of such department's unemployment insurance program,  employment
services  program,  federal  and state employment and training programs,
employment statistics and  labor  market  information  programs,  worker
protection  programs,  federal  programs  for  which  the department has
administrative responsibility or for other purposes  deemed  appropriate
by the commissioner of labor consistent with the provisions of the labor
law,  and  redisclosure  of  such  information  in  accordance  with the
provisions of sections five hundred thirty-six and five hundred  thirty-
seven  of  the  labor  law,  or  the furnishing of information, which is
obtained from the wage reporting system operated pursuant to section one
hundred seventy-one-a of this chapter, as added by chapter five  hundred
forty-five  of  the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-eight, to the state
office of temporary and disability assistance so  that  it  may  furnish
such  information  to  public agencies of other jurisdictions with which
the state office of temporary and disability assistance has an agreement
pursuant to paragraph (h) or (i) of subdivision three of section  twenty
of  the  social  services  law, and to the state office of temporary and
disability assistance for the  purpose  of  fulfilling  obligations  and
responsibilities otherwise incumbent upon the state department of labor,
under  section one hundred twenty-four of the federal family support act
of nineteen hundred eighty-eight, by giving the federal  parent  locator
service,  maintained  by  the  federal  department  of  health and human
services, prompt access to such information as required by such act,  or
to  the state department of health to verify eligibility under the child
health insurance plan pursuant to subdivisions two and two-a of  section
two  thousand  five  hundred  eleven of the public health law, to verify

S. 4540                            13

eligibility under the medical assistance and family health plus programs
pursuant to subdivision eight of section three hundred  sixty-six-a  and
paragraphs  (b)  and  (d)  of  subdivision  two of section three hundred
sixty-nine-ee  of the social services law, and to verify eligibility for
the program for elderly pharmaceutical insurance  coverage  under  title
three  of  article  two of the elder law, or to the office of vocational
and educational services for individuals with disabilities of the educa-
tion department, the commission for the blind [and visually handicapped]
and any other state vocational rehabilitation agency,  for  purposes  of
obtaining  reimbursement from the federal social security administration
for expenditures made by such office, commission or agency on behalf  of
disabled  individuals  who have achieved economic self-sufficiency or to
the higher education services corporation for the purpose  of  assisting
the  corporation  in default prevention and default collection of educa-
tion loan debt, including judgments, owed to the  federal  or  New  York
state  government;  provided,  however,  that  such information shall be
limited to the names, social  security  numbers,  home  and/or  business
addresses,  and  employer  names of defaulted or delinquent student loan
borrowers, or to the office of the state  comptroller  for  purposes  of
verifying  the  income  of  a  retired  member of a retirement system or
pension plan administered by the state or any of its political  subdivi-
sions who returns to public employment.
  Provided,  however,  that  with  respect  to  employee information the
office of temporary and disability assistance shall  only  be  furnished
with the names, social security account numbers and gross wages of those
employees who are (A) applicants for or recipients of benefits under the
social services law, or similar provision of law of another jurisdiction
(pursuant  to  an agreement under subdivision three of section twenty of
the social services law) or, (B) absent parents or other persons legally
responsible for the support of applicants for or  recipients  of  public
assistance  and  care under the social services law or similar provision
of law of another jurisdiction (pursuant to an agreement under  subdivi-
sion three of section twenty of the social services law), or (C) persons
legally  responsible  for  the  support of a recipient of services under
section one hundred eleven-g of  the  social  services  law  or  similar
provision of law of another jurisdiction (pursuant to an agreement under
subdivision  three of section twenty of the social services law), or (D)
employees  about  whom  wage  reporting  system  information  is   being
furnished  to  public  agencies  of  other jurisdictions, with which the
state office of temporary and disability  assistance  has  an  agreement
pursuant  to paragraph (h) or (i) of subdivision three of section twenty
of the social services law, or (E) employees about whom  wage  reporting
system  information  is  being  furnished  to the federal parent locator
service, maintained by  the  federal  department  of  health  and  human
services,  for the purpose of enabling the state office of temporary and
disability assistance to fulfill obligations and responsibilities other-
wise incumbent upon the state department of  labor,  under  section  one
hundred  twenty-four  of  the  federal  family  support  act of nineteen
hundred eighty-eight, and, only if, the office of temporary and disabil-
ity assistance certifies to the commissioner that such persons are  such
applicants,  recipients,  absent  parents or persons legally responsible
for support or persons about whom information has been  requested  by  a
public  agency  of another jurisdiction or by the federal parent locator
service and further certifies that in the case of information  requested
under  agreements  with  other  jurisdictions  entered  into pursuant to
subdivision three of section twenty of the  social  services  law,  that

S. 4540                            14

such request is in compliance with any applicable federal law. Provided,
further,  that  where  the office of temporary and disability assistance
requests employee information for the purpose of evaluating the  effects
on  earnings  of participation in employment, training or other programs
designed to promote self-sufficiency authorized pursuant to  the  social
services  law,  the  office of temporary and disability assistance shall
only be furnished with the quarterly gross wages (excluding  any  refer-
ence  to the name, social security number or any other information which
could be used to identify any employee or  the  name  or  identification
number  of any employer) paid to employees who are former applicants for
or recipients of public assistance and care and who are so certified  to
the  commissioner  by  the  commissioner  of the office of temporary and
disability assistance. Provided, further, that with respect to  employee
information,  the  department of health shall only be furnished with the
information required pursuant to the  provisions  of  paragraph  (f)  of
subdivision  two  and  subdivision  two-a  of  section two thousand five
hundred eleven of the public health law and subdivision eight of section
three hundred sixty-six-a and paragraphs (b) and (d) of subdivision  two
of  section three hundred sixty-nine-ee of the social services law, with
respect to those individuals whose eligibility under  the  child  health
insurance  plan,  medical  assistance  program,  and  family health plus
program is to be determined pursuant to such provisions and with respect
to those members of any such individual's household whose income affects
such individual's eligibility and who are so certified  to  the  commis-
sioner  or  by  the  department  of health. Provided, further, that wage
reporting information shall be furnished to the office of vocational and
educational services for individuals with disabilities of the  education
department,  the commission for the blind [and visually handicapped] and
any other state vocational rehabilitation agency only  if  such  office,
commission  or agency, as applicable, certifies to the commissioner that
such information is necessary to obtain reimbursement from  the  federal
social  security administration for expenditures made on behalf of disa-
bled individuals who have achieved self-sufficiency. Reports and returns
shall be preserved for three years and thereafter until the commissioner
orders them to be destroyed.
  S 23. Terms occurring in laws, contract and other documents.  Notwith-
standing any provision of law to the contrary, whenever  the  functions,
powers,  obligations, duties, rights, remedies and officials relating to
the commission for the blind and visually handicapped are referred to or
designated in any other law,  regulation,  contract  or  document,  such
reference  or  designation  shall  be deemed to refer to the appropriate
functions, powers, obligations, duties, rights and remedies or officials
of the commission for the blind, as designated by this act.
  S 24. Existing rights  and  remedies  preserved.  Notwithstanding  any
provision  of  law  to  the contrary, no existing right or remedy of any
character shall be lost, impaired or affected by reason of this act.
  S 25. Severability. If any clause, sentence,  paragraph,  subdivision,
section  or  part contained in any part of this act shall be adjudged by
any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such  judgment  shall
not  affect,  impair,  or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be
confined in its operation to the clause, sentence,  paragraph,  subdivi-
sion, section or part contained in any part thereof directly involved in
the  controversy  in which such judgment shall have been rendered. It is
hereby declared to be the intent of the legislature that this act  would
have  been enacted even if such invalid provisions had not been included
herein.

S. 4540                            15

  S 26. This act shall take effect immediately, provided  however,  that
if  this  act  is  enacted before April 1, 2013, it shall take effect on
April 1, 2013; and provided, further that the amendments to  subdivision
3  of section 139-j of the state finance law made by section nineteen of
this act shall not affect the repeal of such section and shall be deemed
to repeal therewith.

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