senate Bill S7235

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the development of a statewide missing person locator system

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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
May 21, 2014 reported and committed to finance
May 07, 2014 referred to mental health and developmental disabilities

Votes

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May 21, 2014 - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee Vote

S7235
10
0
committee
10
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
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Abstained
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Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Vote: May 21, 2014

aye wr (1)

S7235 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8874
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Mental Hygiene Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §5.05, Ment Hyg L; amd §202, Eld L; amd §206, Pub Health L; add §837-f-2, Exec L

S7235 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the development of a statewide missing person locator system; provides that such system utilize radiodetermination technology.

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BILL NUMBER:S7235

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, the elder law,
the public health law, and the executive law, in relation to the
establishment of a statewide vulnerable person location system

PURPOSE:

To develop a statewide missing person locator system.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill is the legislative intent and acknowledges the
tragedy where Avonte Oguendo wandered away from his school never to be
found alive and states that the legislation shall be known as
"Avonte's Law."

Section 2 amends the mental hygiene law section 5.05, by adding a new
subdivision (f) to provide that:

1. The commissioners of the office of mental health and the office for
people with developmental disabilities are authorized and instructed
to form rules and regulations and take all necessary steps to
establish a missing person locator program, to be implemented in every
county in the state.

2. The program will make available to all vulnerable or aging persons
within their care at cost, upon request personally or through an
agent, parent or guardian, a personal locator device to be placed on
such individual and used in conjunction with the statewide missing
person locator system developed by the state police pursuant to
section 837-f-2 of the executive law.

3. The state shall provide full payment or a subsidy for any
individual who cannot afford to pay for such locator device.

Section 3 amends the elder law section 202 by adding two new
subdivisions 16 and 17 to:

1. Make available to all vulnerable or aging persons within the care
of the office for the aging or within the care of a private facility
subject to the provisions of this chapter, at cost, upon request
personally or through an agent, parent or guardian, a personal locator
device to be placed on such individual and used in conjunction with
the statewide missing person locator system developed by the state
police pursuant to section 837-f-2 of the executive law.

2. Require the state to provide full payment or a subsidy for any
individual who cannot afford such device.

Section 4 amends the public health law section 206, by adding a new
subdivision to provide that:

1. The commissioner shall make available to all vulnerable or aging
persons within their care at costs upon request personally or through
an agent, parent or guardian, a personal locator device to be placed
on such individual and use in conjunction with the statewide missing


person locator system developed by the state police pursuant to
section 837-f-2 of the executive law.

2. The state shall provide full payment or a subsidy for any
individual who cannot afford to pay for such device.

Section 5 of the bill amends the executive law by adding a new section
837-f-2 to provide that:

1. The state police are authorized and instructed to promulgate rules
and regulations and take all necessary actions towards implementing a
statewide locator program that will facilitate the location of lost
vulnerable or aging persons.

2. The program shall be implemented in conjunction with all local law
enforcement agencies and the state shall make the necessary locator
equipment available in every county of the state either through the
state police, or in cooperation with county and/or local law
enforcement agencies.

3. The state police or local law enforcement agency shall, at cost to
the recipient, provide a personal locator device to any department,
office or agency that is involved in the care and/or housing of a
vulnerable aging person or to any private vulnerable or aging
individual.

4. The state shall provide full payment or a subsidy for any
individual who cannot afford to pay for such locator device.

5. The locator device used in conjunction with this program must rely
on the use of radio determination technology.

6. The state police or other law enforcement shall approve and
designate private organizations that they authorize to disseminate
such locator bracelets or devices for use by aging or vulnerable
individuals.

Section 6 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Wandering poses a significant danger for the at-risk population
including the elderly who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease
and those with autism. Time is a critical factor in locating these
individuals and helping to ensure their safe return.

The tragedy where Avonte Oquendo wandered away from his school never
to be found alive highlights the urgency to find ways to protect the
most vulnerable individuals in our state and to help prevent this type
of tragedy from happening again.

A statewide program designed to make it easier to locate missing
vulnerable persons is one such mechanism to achieve this goal.

Individuals who participate in these programs are given a device,
which can be worn around the wrist, ankle, or clipped onto belt loops
or shoelaces, that gives off an individualized signal. If the person


goes missing, caregivers notify the local participating agency
prompting a unit of specially trained officers to respond. One such
program. Indicates that the average recovery time is approximately 30
minutes.

Programs that enable law enforcement agencies to locate at risk
populations are operating in over 45 states. More than 25 local law
enforcement agencies in New York State participate in such a program.
In addition, Westchester County adopted a program approximately five
years ago and has successfully used the technology eight times.

Wandering knows no geographical boundaries. All local systems should
be either uniform or compatible throughout the state. In addition, the
state's purchasing power will help reduce the cost of the necessary
devices and systems.

Implementing a statewide program to help locate missing vulnerable
persons will save lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

The cost to implement and run the program will depend on the number of
law enforcement agencies and individuals that participate. Each
personal locator device costs approximately $100. The equipment used
to locate a missing person costs approximately $2,500.

In addition, personnel costs for local law enforcement agencies may
decrease, as searches that could otherwise last days, weeks or even
months may be completed in as little as 30 minutes.

Moreover, in response to the introduction of the federal Avonte's Law
by Senator Chuck Schumer, the Justice Department has agreed to make
$10,000,000 available to local law enforcement agencies or qualified
organizations to provide locator devices for children with Autism as
well as training. This is in addition to funds available from the
Justice Department's current Alzheimer's program that assists in
locating individuals with Alzheimer's disease that are missing.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment,
and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely
implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized
to be made on or before such effective date.

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

                                  7235

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 7, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop-
  mental Disabilities

AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, the elder law, the public health
  law, and the executive law, in relation  to  the  establishment  of  a
  statewide vulnerable person location system

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

  Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds  that  the
tragedy  where  Avonte Oquendo wandered away from his school never to be
found alive highlights the continuing need to find ways to  protect  the
most  vulnerable  individuals in our state and to help prevent this type
of tragedy from happening again. The legislature further  finds  that  a
state-wide  program designed to make it easier to locate missing vulner-
able persons is one such mechanism to achieve this goal.  Therefore, the
legislature finds it appropriate to enact legislation herein to be known
as "Avonte's Law".
  S 2. Section 5.05 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new
subdivision (f) to read as follows:
  (F) THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH  AND  THE  OFFICE
FOR  PEOPLE  WITH  DEVELOPMENTAL  DISABILITIES ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND
INSTRUCTED TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND TAKE ALL STEPS AS MAY
BE NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH A MISSING PERSON LOCATOR PROGRAM, TO BE IMPLE-
MENTED IN EVERY COUNTY IN THE STATE, THAT WILL  MAKE  AVAILABLE  TO  ALL
VULNERABLE  OR  AGING  PERSONS  WITHIN  THEIR CARE AT COST, UPON REQUEST
PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, A  PERSONAL  LOCATOR
DEVICE  TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE
STATEWIDE MISSING PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY  THE  STATE  POLICE
PURSUANT  TO  SECTION  837-F-2  OF  THE EXECUTIVE LAW.   THE STATE SHALL
PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY
FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE.
  S 3. Section 202 of the elder law is amended by adding two new  subdi-
visions 16 and 17 to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13791-04-4

S. 7235                             2

  16.  TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING PERSONS WITHIN THEIR
CARE AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH  AN  AGENT,  PARENT  OR
GUARDIAN,  A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND
USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE STATEWIDE  MISSING  PERSON  LOCATOR  SYSTEM
DEVELOPED  BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO SECTION 837-F-2 OF THE EXECU-
TIVE LAW.  THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVID-
UAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE.
  17. TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING  PERSONS  WITHIN  THE
CARE  OF  A  PRIVATE  FACILITY THAT IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS
CHAPTER AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT, PARENT  OR
GUARDIAN,  A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO BE PLACED ON SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND
USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE STATEWIDE  MISSING  PERSON  LOCATOR  SYSTEM
DEVELOPED  BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO SECTION 837-F-2 OF THE EXECU-
TIVE LAW.  THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVID-
UAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE.
  S 4. Section 206 of the public health law is amended by adding  a  new
subdivision 29 to read as follows:
  29.  THE  COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO ALL VULNERABLE OR AGING
PERSONS WITHIN THEIR CARE AT COST, UPON REQUEST PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN
AGENT, PARENT OR GUARDIAN, A PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE  TO  BE  PLACED  ON
SUCH  INDIVIDUAL  AND  USED  IN  CONJUNCTION  WITH THE STATEWIDE MISSING
PERSON LOCATOR SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE STATE POLICE PURSUANT TO  SECTION
837-F-2  OF  THE  EXECUTIVE  LAW.   THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A
SUBSIDY FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO  PAY  FOR  SUCH  LOCATOR
DEVICE.
  S  5.  The executive law is amended by adding a new section 837-f-2 to
read as follows:
  S 837-F-2. STATEWIDE MISSING  PERSON  LOCATOR  SYSTEM.  1.  THE  STATE
POLICE  ARE  HEREBY  AUTHORIZED  AND  INSTRUCTED TO PROMULGATE RULES AND
REGULATIONS AND TAKE ALL STEPS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT A STATE-
WIDE LOCATOR PROGRAM THAT WILL FACILITATE THE LOCATION OF  LOST  VULNER-
ABLE  OR  AGING PERSONS. THE PROGRAM SHALL BE IMPLEMENTED IN CONJUNCTION
WITH ALL LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND THE STATE SHALL MAKE  AVAIL-
ABLE IN EVERY COUNTY OF THE STATE EITHER THROUGH THE STATE POLICE, OR IN
COOPERATION  WITH  COUNTY  AND/OR  LOCAL  LAW  ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, THE
NECESSARY LOCATOR EQUIPMENT.
  2. THE STATE POLICE OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SHALL, AT COST  TO
THE  RECIPIENT, PROVIDE A BRACELET OR SIMILAR PERSONAL LOCATOR DEVICE TO
ANY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE, OR AGENCY THAT IS INVOLVED IN  THE  CARE  AND/OR
HOUSING  OF  A  VULNERABLE  OR AGING PERSON. THE STATE POLICE SHALL ALSO
MAKE SUCH LOCATOR DEVICES AVAILABLE, AT COST, TO ANY PRIVATE  VULNERABLE
OR  AGING INDIVIDUAL.   THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE PAYMENT OR A SUBSIDY FOR
ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SUCH LOCATOR DEVICE.
  3. THE LOCATOR DEVICE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THIS PROGRAM MUST  RELY
UPON THE USE OF RADIODETERMINATION TECHNOLOGY RATHER THAN A GLOBAL POSI-
TIONING SYSTEM OR SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM.
  4. THE STATE POLICE OR OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT, SHALL APPROVE AND DESIG-
NATE  PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE AUTHORIZED TO DISSEMINATE SUCH LOCA-
TOR BRACELETS OR DEVICES FOR USE BY AGING OR VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS.
  S 6. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition,  amend-
ment,  and/or  repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely
implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized to
be made on or before such effective date.

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