senate Bill S6663

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Enhances the regulation of the provision of services of guides and the outfitters who procure guides

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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
Jun 20, 2014 committed to rules
May 28, 2014 advanced to third reading
May 21, 2014 2nd report cal.
May 20, 2014 1st report cal.810
Feb 25, 2014 referred to environmental conservation

Votes

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May 20, 2014 - Environmental Conservation committee Vote

S6663
12
0
committee
12
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Environmental Conservation Committee Vote: May 20, 2014

aye wr (1)

S6663 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§11-0533, 71-0921 &71-0925, En Con L

S6663 - Bill Texts

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Enhances the regulation of the provision of services of guides and the outfitters who procure guides.

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BILL NUMBER:S6663

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in
relation to guides and outfitters

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to amend the Environmental
Conservation Law (ECL) to amend the definition of a guide, prohibit
the act of guiding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and
increase penalty provisions related thereto.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of this bill would rename the title of ECL § 11-0533 as
"Guides and Outfitters." It would amend ECL § 11-0533 (1) to clarify
the definition of a guide as an individual who offers services for
hire for recreational activities and to add kayaking to the list of
services and activities. It would also add a definition of "outfitter"
to mean any person soliciting to provide or providing guide services
for compensation. The section would also amend ECL § 11-0533 (5) to
provide that the fee for guide licenses shall not exceed two hundred
dollars for residents and establishes a new five hundred dollar fee
for non-residents. New ECL § 11-0533 (7) would prohibit outfitters
from providing unlicensed guides for guiding services, and add a new
requirement that guides and outfitters provide written disclosures
stating the terms of service to be provided.

Section 1 would prohibit any person from guiding while in an
intoxicated or impaired condition as defined in ECL § 11-1201,
prohibit outfitters from knowingly providing guides for service who
are or appear to be intoxicated or impaired, and make violations of
these provisions subject to the standards, procedures and penalties
established by ECL § 11-1205 and 11-1209.

This section would add submitting false documentation, or violating
the penal law while guiding to the list of reasons a guide's license
may be revoked and allows the Department to suspend a license for up
to two years or revoke a license following a hearing or opportunity to
be heard and establish certain circumstances when licenses could be
immediately suspended. This section would require the Department to
maintain a current list of licensed guides on the department's
website, instead of publishing it annually.

Section 2 of this bill would add a new subdivision 14 to ECL § 71-0921
to provide that a first violation of ECL § 11-0533 (2) (guiding
without a license), (7) (an outfitter providing an unlicensed guide)
or (10) (an outfitter knowingly providing guides who are intoxicated
or impaired) is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no more
than $5,000 or imprisonment of no more than 90 days or both.

Section 2 would also provide that a second violation or subsequent
violations is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no more
than $10,000 or imprisonment of no more than one year or both.
Lastly, for two or more convictions or manslaughter or reckless
endangerment, it would authorize the Department or a court to revoke
for a minimum of five years a guide's license or the privilege of an
outfitter to provide guides.


Additionally, Section 2 would add a new subdivision 15 to ECL§ 71-0921
to provide that, in the case of two or more violations of ECL
11-0533(7) or (10), or in the case of a conviction of reckless
endangerment or manslaughter by a person engaged in guiding activities
for an outfitter, the Department or a court may suspend that
outfitter's ability to provide guides. It would also provide that the
Department or a court may take the gravity of the offense into
consideration in determining the length of the suspension.

Section 2 of this bill would add a new subdivision 16 to ECL § 71-0925
to provide that a violation of ECL § 11-0533(6) guiding while not
wearing your guide license in plain sight,) (7) or (8) f (failure to
provide a written disclosure of services) is a violation punishable by
a fine of no less than $500.

Section 4 provides that this bill would take effect immediately.

EXISTING LAW: ECL § 11-0533 was promulgated in 1985, and has not been
amended since that time. This statute defines the term "guide,"
establishes the license fee, provides for certain requirements and
punishments, and requires the Department annually publish a list of
guides

JUSTIFICATION: In New York State, there are currently more than 2,100
licensed guides who offer instructional services in recreational areas
such as fishing, hunting, whitewater rafting and camping. In many
instances, the individuals who contract with guides are inexperienced
in a particular recreational activity, some of which may be extremely
dangerous. For the safety and well being of all parties involved, it
is important to ensure that experienced and responsible guides are at
the helm.

It is essential that individuals engaged in guiding activities be
properly trained, fully licensed and not under the influence of drugs
and/or alcohol at the time they are providing these services. It is
equally critical that businesses which offer guides for service are
required to ensure that they offer only sober licensed guides.

In the fall of 2012, a licensed guide provided by a New York State
rafting company was charged with criminally negligent homicide after
being accused of rafting while intoxicated, resulting in the death of
a client. Earlier that spring the owner of the same rafting company
was charged with reckless endangerment after abandoning a raft full of
clients, leaving them to fend for themselves. The owner was able to
maintain his guiding license amid the charges. The ECL does not
currently prohibit acting as a guide while under the influence of
drugs or alcohol, and limits the reasons for revoking a guide's
license to violations of the ECL or providing false information to the
Department. These violations are only punishable by the revocation of
a guide's license for one year.

Multiple guiding associations have requested additional statutory
requirements that would address the issue of individuals guiding
without a license and to punish guides who partake in unethical
behavior such as failing to provide adequate guiding services, and
sometimes reckless behavior such as guiding while under the influence


of alcohol and drugs. Unlicensed and reckless guides endanger citizens
and create an unreasonable risk of injury and death.

Such behavior damages the reputation and livelihoods of highly
regarded guides and guiding associations who enforce strict member
guidelines, provide training programs, and work in conjunction with
the Department's Guide Licensing Program.

This proposal will add oversight of outfitters to ensure that licensed
guides are provided to tourists, and will add disclosure to consumers
that will ensure they know what services they are to receive. It would
subject those who engage in the act of guiding while in an intoxicated
or impaired condition to the same standards, procedures and
punishments as hunting while intoxicated. It would also establish more
stringent penalties when violations do occur to minimize the
possibility of tragedies occurring again.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  6663

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 25, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LITTLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation

AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
  guides and outfitters

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

  Section 1. Section 11-0533 of the environmental conservation  law,  as
added by chapter 398 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
S 11-0533. [Licensing of guides] GUIDES AND OUTFITTERS.
  1. DEFINITIONS. As used in this section[, the term "guide"]:
  A. "GUIDE" shall mean [a person] AN INDIVIDUAL who offers services for
hire  part  or  all  of which includes directing, instructing, or aiding
another in fishing, hunting,  camping,  hiking,  white  water  canoeing,
KAYAKING AND rafting, or rock and ice climbing.
  B.    "OUTFITTER"  SHALL  MEAN ANY PERSON SOLICITING TO PROVIDE OR WHO
PROVIDES, FOR COMPENSATION, A GUIDE.
  2. All guides engaging in the business of guiding  on  all  lands  and
waters  of  the  state shall possess a license issued by the department,
except for any [persons]  INDIVIDUALS  operating  or  assisting  upon  a
public  vessel  for  hire  (passenger carrying vessels), licensed by the
United States Coast Guard or New York state, upon the Atlantic Ocean and
all other marine and coastal waters, tidal waters including  the  Hudson
river  up  to  the Troy barrier dam, St. Lawrence river, Great Lakes and
the navigable portion of their tributaries, and other navigable  waters,
as determined by the department.
  3. Except while guiding for the purposes of hunting and/or fishing, no
license  as  defined  in section 11-0701 OF THIS ARTICLE is required for
such acts.
  4. Employees of children's camps as  defined  in  subdivision  one  of
section  one  thousand  four  hundred  of the public health law shall be
exempt from the provisions of subdivisions one and two of this  section,
provided  such  activities  are  carried  out  within  the scope of said
employment.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11378-02-4

S. 6663                             2

  5. A license as required under subdivision two of this  section  shall
be issued for a period of five calendar years and the fee therefor shall
be  established by the department, not to exceed two hundred dollars FOR
RESIDENTS AND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR NON-RESIDENTS.
  6.  Every  licensed guide while engaged in guiding shall wear in plain
sight identification furnished by the department. Licensed guides  shall
be  at  least eighteen years of age. They shall be skilled in the use of
boats and canoes whenever use of these craft is required  and  shall  be
persons  competent to guide one or more of the following: camping, hunt-
ing, fishing, hiking, white water canoeing/rafting, rock or ice climbing
or other similar activities. The department shall by  regulation  estab-
lish standards and procedures for testing and licensing of guides.
  7.  [Any] NO OUTFITTER SHALL PROVIDE FOR GUIDE SERVICES A GUIDE WHO IS
NOT LICENSED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
  8.  EVERY LICENSED GUIDE OR THE OUTFITTER PROVIDING  THE  SERVICES  OF
SUCH  A  GUIDE  SHALL, PRIOR TO ENGAGING IN GUIDING OR PROVIDING A GUIDE
FOR SERVICE, PROVIDE A WRITTEN DISCLOSURE OF THE TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT  OF
THE GUIDE BY THE CLIENT, INCLUDING THE DATE, TIME PERIOD, COST AND CHAR-
ACTER  OF  THE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED. SUCH WRITTEN DISCLOSURE SHALL BE
SIGNED BY THE CLIENT PRIOR TO THE PROVISION OF  GUIDE  SERVICES  AND  BE
MAINTAINED  FOR INSPECTION BY THE GUIDE OR THE OUTFITTER FOR A PERIOD OF
TWO YEARS.
  9. NO INDIVIDUAL SHALL ENGAGE  IN  GUIDING  WHILE  IN  AN  INTOXICATED
CONDITION,  AS DEFINED IN SECTION 11-1201 OF THIS ARTICLE. NO INDIVIDUAL
SHALL ENGAGE IN GUIDING WHEN HIS OR HER  ABILITY  TO  GUIDE  CREATES  AN
UNREASONABLE  RISK  OF INJURY OR DEATH TO HIMSELF OR HERSELF, OR ANOTHER
HUMAN LIFE. ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO GUIDES WHILE IN AN INTOXICATED  CONDITION
OR AN IMPAIRED CONDITION, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 11-1201 OF THIS ARTICLE,
SHALL  BE  SUBJECT  TO THE SAME RULES OF EVIDENCE, STANDARDS, PROCEDURES
AND PENALTIES ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 11-1205  AND  11-1209  OF
THIS ARTICLE AS IF HE OR SHE WERE HUNTING WHILE INTOXICATED.
  10.  NO OUTFITTER SHALL KNOWINGLY PROVIDE GUIDES WHO ARE, APPEAR TO BE
OR ARE SUSPECTED TO BE IN  AN  INTOXICATED  OR  IMPAIRED  CONDITION,  AS
DEFINED IN SECTION 11-1201 OF THIS ARTICLE.
  11.  FOR ANY licensed guide who violates any provision of this chapter
or who makes any false statement OR SUBMITS FALSE DOCUMENTATION  in  his
OR  HER  application for a license [shall], OR VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF
THE PENAL LAW WHILE GUIDING, in addition to any other penalties,  [imme-
diately  surrender  his  license  to]  the  department[,  which] may [be
revoked by the department] SUSPEND SUCH GUIDE'S LICENSE for up  to  [one
year  following  the  date  of such surrender] TWO YEARS, OR REVOKE SUCH
LICENSE; PROVIDED THAT SUCH SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION SHALL BECOME EFFEC-
TIVE AFTER A  HEARING  OR  OPPORTUNITY  TO  BE  HEARD  PURSUANT  TO  THE
PROVISIONS OF DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS, UNLESS A HEARING IS WAIVED BY SUCH
GUIDE.  IF  THE ALLEGED VIOLATION IS FOR GUIDING WHILE IN AN INTOXICATED
OR IMPAIRED CONDITION, OR THE GUIDE REFUSES TO TAKE  A  BREATH  TEST  OR
CHEMICAL  TEST,  AND  THERE  WAS A THREAT OF HARM OR LOSS OF LIFE TO THE
GUIDE'S CLIENT, THE  DEPARTMENT  MAY  IMMEDIATELY  SUSPEND  THE  GUIDE'S
LICENSE  PENDING  ANY  PROSECUTION,  PROVIDED  THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL
OFFER THE GUIDE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A HEARING  WITHIN  FIFTEEN  DAYS.
FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, "THREAT OF HARM OR LOSS OF LIFE" SHALL
INCLUDE  TAKING  A  CLIENT BOATING, KAYAKING, CANOEING, RAFTING, HUNTING
WITH A FIREARM OR BOW, ROCK CLIMBING OR ICE CLIMBING WHILE IN AN INTOXI-
CATED OR IMPAIRED CONDITION.
  [8.] 12. The department shall [publish] MAINTAIN  a  CURRENT  list  of
LICENSED guides [annually] ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE.

S. 6663                             3

  S  2. Section 71-0921 of the environmental conservation law is amended
by adding three new subdivisions 14, 15 and 16 to read as follows:
  14.  VIOLATION  OF SUBDIVISION TWO, SEVEN OR TEN OF SECTION 11-0533 OF
THIS CHAPTER SHALL, IN THE CASE OF A FIRST VIOLATION,  BE  GUILTY  OF  A
MISDEMEANOR  AND,  UPON CONVICTION THEREOF, BE PUNISHED BY A FINE NOT TO
EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR BY IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT MORE THAN NINETY
DAYS, OR BY BOTH SUCH FINE AND IMPRISONMENT; IN THE CASE OF A SECOND  OR
SUBSEQUENT  VIOLATION, SUCH PERSON SHALL BE GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND,
UPON CONVICTION THEREOF, SHALL BE PUNISHED BY A FINE NOT TO  EXCEED  TEN
THOUSAND  DOLLARS  OR  BY IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR, OR BY
BOTH SUCH FINE AND IMPRISONMENT.
  15. THE DEPARTMENT OR A COURT MAY, FOR CAUSE AND  AFTER  TWO  OR  MORE
VIOLATIONS  OF SUBDIVISION SEVEN OR TEN OF SECTION 11-0533 OF THIS CHAP-
TER, SUSPEND AN OUTFITTER'S PRIVILEGE TO PROVIDE GUIDES FOR AT LEAST ONE
YEAR AND NO MORE THAN TEN YEARS.  IN  DETERMINING  THE  LENGTH  OF  SUCH
SUSPENSION,  THE DEPARTMENT OR A COURT SHALL TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE
SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE.
  16. THE DEPARTMENT OR A COURT MAY REVOKE THE LICENSE OF  A  GUIDE,  OR
THE  PRIVILEGE OF AN OUTFITTER TO PROVIDE GUIDES, FOR NOT LESS THAN FIVE
YEARS UPON A CONVICTION OF MANSLAUGHTER OR RECKLESS  ENDANGERMENT  WHILE
GUIDING  BY  A  GUIDE OR BY A PERSON ACTING AS A GUIDE WHILE WORKING FOR
THE OUTFITTER.
  S 3. Section 71-0925 of the environmental conservation law is  amended
by adding a new subdivision 16 to read as follows:
  16.  IF  THE  VIOLATION  WAS  A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION SIX, SEVEN OR
EIGHT OF SECTION 11-0533 OF THIS CHAPTER, NOT  LESS  THAN  FIVE  HUNDRED
DOLLARS.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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