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A01056 Summary:

BILL NOA01056
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02711
 
SPONSORRozic
 
COSPNSRAbbate, Abinanti, Blake, Bronson, Colton, Crespo, Jones, Otis, Raia, Richardson, Rodriguez, Simon, Seawright, Pheffer Amato, Bichotte
 
MLTSPNSRGalef, McDonough, McLaughlin, Thiele, Weinstein
 
Amd 91, Pub Serv L; amd 399-yy, add 399-yyy, Gen Bus L
 
Requires companies to allow victims of domestic violence to cancel contracts when there is a domestic violence incident report, a police report, an order of protection or a signed affidavit.
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A01056 Actions:

BILL NOA01056
 
01/10/2017referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
04/25/2017reported referred to codes
04/25/2017reported
04/27/2017advanced to third reading cal.177
05/09/2017passed assembly
05/09/2017delivered to senate
05/09/2017REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
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A01056 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A1056
 
SPONSOR: Rozic (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law and the general business law, in relation to requiring companies to allow victims of domestic violence to cancel contracts when there is a domestic violence incident report, a police report, an order of protection, or a signed affidavit   PURPOSE: To allow victims of domestic violence who have sought and received a permanent order of protection, and are under contract including but not limited to a multiyear of bundle contract offered by a local exchange telephone corporation or cable television company providing telephone services, to break such contract without penalty.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section I of the bill amends Section 91 of the public service law by adding a new subdivision 8 which provides that a local exchange tele- phone corporation shall allow a customer who is under contract, includ- ing but not limited to a multi-year or bundle contract, to break such contract without penalty if such customer is a victim of domestic violence, requests release in writing and possesses a permanent order of protection. Section II of the bill amends section 399-yy of the general business law, as added by chapter 327 of the laws of 2010, to provide in addition that a cable television company providing telephone services shall allow a customer who is under contract, including but not limited to a multi- year or bundle contract, to break such contract without penalty if such customer is a victim of domestic violence, requests release in writing and possesses a permanent order of protection. Section III of the bill amends section 399-yy includes satellite broad- band companies in the businesses that are covered under this bill. Section IV of the bill sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In 2010, the State of New York extended a new protection to victims of domestic violence through chapter 327 of the laws of 2010. Chapter 327 provided that a victim of domestic violence, as defined in section four hundred fifty-nine of the social services law could require local exchange telephone companies or cable television companies providing to telephone services to provide an anonymous listing or pseudonymous iden- tification without charge, where the customer was a victim of domestic violence, requested the identity protection service in writing, and had sought and received a permanent order of protection from their batterer. In the intervening years, a number of victims of domestic violence have availed themselves of this protective service provided by telephone corporations and cable television companies. As the telecommunications industry and its products and services have changed however, circum- stances have given- rise to the need to extend the protections necessary for certain victims of domestic violence who may have engaged in a multi-year of "bundled" contract. This legislation would allow victims of domestic violence who have sought and received a permanent order of protection, and are under contract including but not limited to a multi-year of bundle contract offered by a local exchange telephone corporation or cable television company providing telephone services, to break such contract without penalty. While multi-year and "bundle" contracts allow customers to save money by consolidating telephone, cable and Internet services with one provider, fees for early cancellation of such contracts vary widely across providers and can be levied against victims of domestic fleeing their batterers. When fleeing a batterer, victims of domestic violence often leave behind items of great intrinsic and financial value, creat- ing significant challenges to their ability to afford to move to safety. Providing an escape clause in such multi-year and "bundle" contracts so that victims of domestic violence will not have to continue paying for services at a location they have fled is good public policy, and consistent with New York and the telecommunications industry's historic support for domestic violence victims.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2016: A00274A (Rozic) - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions 2015: A00274A (Rozic) - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions 2014: A08018A (Rozic) - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions 2013: A08018 (Rozic) - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions   FISCAL IMPACT TO THE STATE: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A01056 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1056
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 10, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. ROZIC, ABBATE, ABINANTI, BLAKE, BRONSON, COLTON,
          CRESPO, JONES, OTIS, RAIA, RICHARDSON, RODRIGUEZ, SIMON -- Multi-Spon-
          sored by -- M. of A. GALEF, McDONOUGH, McLAUGHLIN, THIELE -- read once
          and referred to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commis-
          sions

        AN ACT to amend the public service law and the general business law,  in
          relation  to requiring companies to allow victims of domestic violence
          to cancel contracts when there is a domestic violence incident report,
          a police report, an order of protection, or a signed affidavit
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 91 of the public service law is amended by adding a
     2  new subdivision 8 to read as follows:
     3    8.  Every  telephone  corporation,  as  defined in this chapter, shall
     4  allow a person who is under contract including, but not  limited  to,  a
     5  multi-year  contract or bundle contract with such telephone corporation,
     6  to opt-out of such contract without charge when such person is a  victim
     7  of  domestic violence and requests to opt-out in writing. Such victim of
     8  domestic violence shall provide to such telephone corporation any of the
     9  following documents, which shall relate to such domestic violence, with-
    10  in six months of the document's issuance: (a) a valid domestic  violence
    11  incident  report form, as such term is defined in subdivision fifteen of
    12  section eight hundred thirty-seven of the executive  law;  (b)  a  valid
    13  police  report;  (c) a valid order of protection; (d) a signed affidavit
    14  from a licensed medical or mental health care provider,  employee  of  a
    15  court acting within the scope of his or her employment, social worker, a
    16  rape  crisis  counselor, as defined in section forty-five hundred ten of
    17  the civil practice law and rules, or advocate acting  on  behalf  of  an
    18  agency that assists domestic violence victims. A claim for opting-out of
    19  such contract without charge shall be made in good faith. Such telephone
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00525-01-7

        A. 1056                             2
 
     1  corporation shall waive the otherwise applicable charges for such person
     2  requesting to opt-out of such contract.
     3    § 2. Section 399-yy of the general business law, as amended by chapter
     4  202 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows:
     5    §  399-yy.  Cable television company providing telephone services.  1.
     6  Every cable television company, as defined in section two hundred twelve
     7  of the public service law, that provides telephone service to  customers
     8  in  New York shall, at its option: a. allow a customer to use a modified
     9  or alternative name for a directory listing or b.  waive  the  otherwise
    10  applicable  charges  for  a  non-published  telephone listing, where the
    11  customer requests protection of its  identity  in  connection  with  the
    12  customer's purchase of telephone service and the customer is a victim of
    13  domestic  violence,  as  defined in section four hundred fifty-nine-a of
    14  the social services law, and for whose benefit any order of  protection,
    15  other  than  a temporary order of protection, has been issued by a court
    16  of competent jurisdiction. This waiver of charges shall be for the dura-
    17  tion of the applicable, non-temporary, order. Any non-published listings
    18  provided in this section shall conform to all the same  requirements  of
    19  other  non-published  listings.  A  customer requesting such an accommo-
    20  dation shall provide a copy of the order of protection to the applicable
    21  cable television  company.  Any  customer  requesting  an  accommodation
    22  pursuant  to  this section may also request and shall be provided, at no
    23  cost to the customer, a new telephone number within  fifteen  days  from
    24  the request for such accommodation.
    25    2.  Every  cable television company, as defined in section two hundred
    26  twelve of the public service law, that provides television and/or  tele-
    27  phone service to customers in New York under contract including, but not
    28  limited  to  a  multi-year  contract or bundled contract with such cable
    29  television company, shall allow a person to  opt-out  of  such  contract
    30  without  charge  when  such  person is a victim of domestic violence and
    31  request to opt-out in writing. Such victim of  domestic  violence  shall
    32  provide to such cable television company any of the following documents,
    33  which  shall  relate to such domestic violence, within six months of the
    34  document's issuance: (a) a valid domestic violence incident report form,
    35  as such term is defined in subdivision fifteen of section eight  hundred
    36  thirty-seven  of  the  executive  law;  (b) a valid police report; (c) a
    37  valid order of protection;  (d)  a  signed  affidavit  from  a  licensed
    38  medical or mental health care provider, employee of a court acting with-
    39  in  the  scope  of  his  or her employment, social worker, a rape crisis
    40  counselor, as defined in section forty-five hundred  ten  of  the  civil
    41  practice  law  and rules, or advocate acting on behalf of an agency that
    42  assists domestic violence  victims.  A  claim  for  opting-out  of  such
    43  contract  without  charge  shall be made in good faith. Such cable tele-
    44  vision company shall waive the otherwise  applicable  charges  for  such
    45  person requesting to opt-out of such contract.
    46    §  3. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 399-
    47  yyy to read as follows:
    48    § 399-yyy. Satellite television company  providing  television  and/or
    49  telephone  services. 1. Every direct broadcast satellite service provid-
    50  er, as defined in this section, that provides  television  and/or  tele-
    51  phone  services  to  customers  in  New York shall allow a person who is
    52  under contract including, but not limited to a  multi-year  contract  or
    53  bundled  contract  with such satellite television company, to opt-out of
    54  such contract without charge when such a person is a victim of  domestic
    55  violence  and  requests  to  opt-out in writing. Such victim of domestic
    56  violence shall provide to such satellite television company any  of  the

        A. 1056                             3
 
     1  following documents, which shall relate to such domestic violence, with-
     2  in  six months of the document's issuance: (a) a valid domestic violence
     3  incident report form, as such term is defined in subdivision fifteen  of
     4  section  eight  hundred  thirty-seven  of the executive law; (b) a valid
     5  police report; (c) a valid order of protection; (d) a  signed  affidavit
     6  from  a  licensed  medical or mental health care provider, employee of a
     7  court acting within the scope of his or her employment, social worker, a
     8  rape crisis counselor, as defined in section forty-five hundred  ten  of
     9  the  civil  practice  law  and rules, or advocate acting on behalf of an
    10  agency that assists domestic violence victims. A claim for opting-out of
    11  such contract without charge shall be made in good faith.   Such  satel-
    12  lite television company shall waive the otherwise applicable charges for
    13  such person requesting to opt-out of such contract.
    14    2.  For  the  purposes of this section, the following terms shall have
    15  the following meanings:
    16    (a) "Direct broadcast satellite service", means  the  distribution  or
    17  broadcasting  by  satellite of video programming or services directly to
    18  receiving equipment located at an end user subscriber's or an  end  user
    19  customer's  premises,  including,  but  not limited to, the provision of
    20  premium channels, the provision of music  or  other  audio  services  or
    21  channels,  and  any  other  service  received  in  connection  with  the
    22  provision of direct broadcast satellite service.
    23    (b) "Direct broadcast satellite service provider", means a person  who
    24  transmits,  broadcasts  or otherwise provides direct broadcast satellite
    25  service to subscribers or customers in the state.
    26    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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