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A08619 Summary:

BILL NOA08619B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07573-A
 
SPONSORMeeks
 
COSPNSRKelles, Cruz, Taylor, Gonzalez-Rojas, Clark, Simon, Gottfried, Jackson, Jean-Pierre, Quart, Gallagher, Hevesi, Zinerman, Darling, Gibbs, Paulin, Fall, Fernandez, De Los Santos, Galef, Burgos, Forrest, Rosenthal L, Abinanti, Niou, McMahon, Cunningham, Walker, Stirpe, Anderson, Dickens, Carroll, Weprin, Bichotte Hermelyn, Aubry, Reyes, O'Donnell, Lucas, Rivera J, Pretlow, Otis, Solages, Peoples-Stokes, Kim, Benedetto
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §§621, 625, 627 & 631, Exec L
 
Expands eligibility for victims and survivors of crime to access victim compensation funds by removing the mandatory law enforcement reporting requirement and providing alternative forms of evidence that would show that a qualifying crime was committed.
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A08619 Actions:

BILL NOA08619B
 
01/10/2022referred to governmental operations
01/20/2022amend (t) and recommit to governmental operations
01/20/2022print number 8619a
05/20/2022amend and recommit to governmental operations
05/20/2022print number 8619b
05/24/2022reported referred to codes
05/31/2022reported referred to ways and means
06/02/2022reported referred to rules
06/02/2022reported
06/02/2022rules report cal.614
06/02/2022ordered to third reading rules cal.614
06/02/2022passed assembly
06/02/2022delivered to senate
06/02/2022REFERRED TO RULES
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A08619 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8619B
 
SPONSOR: Meeks
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding eligibility for victims and survivors of crime to access victim compensation funds by removing the mandatory law enforcement reporting requirement and providing alternative forms of evidence that would show that a qualify- ing crime was committed   PURPOSE: To expand eligibility for victims and survivors of crime to access victim compensation funds by removing the mandatory law enforcement reporting requirement and providing alternative forms of evidence that would show that a qualifying crime was committed.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFICATION PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the definition of "crime" to clarify that a crime may be committed, regardless of whether any "suspect" was arrested or convicted or whether the victim/survivor interacted with law enforce- ment. Section 2 increases the time a victim/survivor may file a victim compen- sation claim with the Office of Victim Services (OVS) from one year to three years. Section 3 clarifies that the investigation and determination of claims must be made regardless of whether a "suspect" has been arrested or charged. Section 4 removes the requirement that a crime be reported to a law enforcement agency "promptly" and within one week of the occurrence of the crime and instead, allows for reporting "within a reasonable time considering all the circumstances, including the victim's physical, emotional and mental condition and family situation." Additionally, Section 4 provides alternatives to the law enforcement reporting requirement by allowing for certain evidence to be provided to show that a qualifying crime has occurred. Such alternatives include: (i) a writ- ten statement from a victim services provider; (ii) a statement provided by a witness to the qualifying crime; (iii) a self-attesting statement from the victim that a crime was committed against them; (iv) a tempo- rary or permanent order of protection; (v) a statement from a licensed medical provider; (vi) a video, audio or photographic recording or the commission of the qualifying crime. Section 5 provides an immediate effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION: The amended version changes the length of time a victim may file a victim compensation claim with OVS to three years and makes technical changes to clarify the process of OVS reviewing evidence.   JUSTIFICATION: When a citizen suffers from the impact of criminal violence, the govern- ment has a moral responsibility to provide financial relief for the harm they suffered. Victim compensation is a form of financial relief a government can provide to right the injustices victims and survivors of violence experience and enhance public 'safety. In 1984, Congress established the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to provide Federal oversight and support to state-administered victims compensation programs across the country responsible for assisting victims and survi- vors of crime. VOCA established the Office of Victims of Crime to admin- ister the Crime Victims Fund, which consists of non-taxpayer dollars collected from fines and fees associated with Federal crimes. These funds are used to compensate victims and survivors for costs, including hospital bills, burial expenses, temporary housing, or replacing locks. Eligibility to receive compensation varies from state to state, but the general requirements include: (1) a showing of physical injury; (2) reporting the crime to law enforcement; (3) not being involved in the reported crime; (4) applying within a required time period; and (5) mandated cooperation with law enforcement and prosecutors in the inves- tigation of such crime. Critics of victim compensation programs argue that they are largely symbolic, as the most victimized groups are not the primary benefici- aries of these services. These inequities fall across race and class lines, where White women above the age of 55 living in non-urban areas with incomes greater than $75,000 a year are the largest recipients of services even though Black men under age 35 living in urban areas with annual incomes below $25,000 experience the highest rates of victimiza- tion. These inequities are the result of many barriers, including mandated reporting to and interaction with law enforcement, limited period that reports must be made and application must be filed, reduction or exclusion from award amounts due to contributory conduct or prior convictions, definition of harm restricted to physical injury, and lack of public awareness about victim compensation funds. Victims and survivors often do not report their crimes for a variety of reasons, including fear of retaliation, mistrust in law enforcement, the age and/or other demographics of a victim/survivor, or the dynamics of an intimate partner relationship. According to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (DOJ BJS) National Crime Victimiza- tion Survey (NCVS), 5,813,410 violent victimizations occurred in 2019. Of those victimizations, 59 percent (roughly, 3,429,912) were not reported to law enforcement officials. NCVS also reported that in 2019, only 7.7% of victims/survivors of violent crimes received assistance from victim service agencies. This data suggests that more than 90% of victims and survivors of violent crimes have a low likelihood of receiv- ing necessary services or support due to non-reporting. In New York,'in order to qualify for victim compensation, a victim/survivor must, among other things: (1) report the crime to a law enforcement agency within one week; (2) file for compensation within a year of the date of crime, unless good cause is shown; and (3) cooperate with law enforcement in any ongoing investigation of the crime. While. Federal law requires a State's crime victim compensation program to "promote victim cooperation with the reasonable requests of law enforcement," it does not, however, require a victim/survivor to report such crime to law enforcement, nor does it require a specified timeline for reporting a crime or filing a compensation claim, though over time, many states have interpreted it as such. This legislation would remove New York's onerous mandated law enforce- ment reporting requirement by expanding eligibility for victims and survivors of qualifying crimes. This bill achieves this by changing the law in three major ways:(1) changing the amount of time, outside of having good cause for delay, that a victim is required to file a claim with OVS from one year to three years; (2) changing the amount of time that a victim is required to report a crime to proper authorities from one week to a reasonable time considering all the circumstances; (3)expanding the type of evidence victims may use to show that a quali- fied crime has occurred. This legislative fix would not only clarify and refine current law, but provide greater access of funds to many overlooked victims of violence, including domestic violence victims/survivors, LGBTQ victims/survivors, immigrant victims/survivors, gun violence victims/survivors and victims/survivors of police violence.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None. This legislation expands the eligibility requirements but does not require a new funding line.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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A08619 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         8619--B
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 10, 2022
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  MEEKS, KELLES, CRUZ, TAYLOR, GONZALEZ-ROJAS,
          CLARK, SIMON, GOTTFRIED, JACKSON, JEAN-PIERRE, QUART, GALLAGHER, HEVE-
          SI, ZINERMAN, DARLING, GIBBS, PAULIN, FALL, FERNANDEZ,  DE LOS SANTOS,
          GALEF,   BURGOS,   FORREST,  L. ROSENTHAL,  ABINANTI,  NIOU,  McMAHON,
          CUNNINGHAM,  WALKER,  STIRPE,  ANDERSON,  DICKENS,  CARROLL,   WEPRIN,
          BICHOTTE HERMELYN, AUBRY -- read once and referred to the Committee on
          Governmental  Operations  --  recommitted  to the Committee on Govern-
          mental Operations in accordance  with  Assembly  Rule  3,  sec.  2  --
          committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
          recommitted to said committee -- again reported  from  said  committee
          with  amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said
          committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding  eligibility
          for victims and survivors of crime to access victim compensation funds
          by  removing  the  mandatory law enforcement reporting requirement and
          providing alternative forms of evidence that would show that a  quali-
          fying crime was committed
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 3 of section 621 of the execu-
     2  tive law, as amended by chapter 710 of the laws of 1996, is  amended  to
     3  read as follows:
     4    (a)  an act committed in New York state which would, if committed by a
     5  mentally competent  criminally  responsible  adult,  who  has  no  legal
     6  exemption or defense, constitute a crime as defined in and proscribed by
     7  law,  regardless  of  whether  any suspect was arrested, charged, appre-
     8  hended or prosecuted for the commission of the act or whether the claim-
     9  ant has interacted with a criminal  justice  agency  investigating  such
    10  act; or
    11    §  2. Subdivision 2 of section 625 of the executive law, as amended by
    12  section 10 of part A-1 of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010, is amended  to
    13  read as follows:
    14    2.  A  claim  must  be filed by the claimant not later than [one year]
    15  three years after the occurrence or discovery of the  crime  upon  which
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD13970-03-2

        A. 8619--B                          2
 
     1  such  claim  is  based,  [one  year]  three  years after a court finds a
     2  lawsuit to be frivolous, or not later than [one year] three years  after
     3  the  death of the victim, provided, however, that upon good cause shown,
     4  the  office  may extend the time for filing. The office shall extend the
     5  time for filing where  the  claimant  received  no  notice  pursuant  to
     6  section  six  hundred twenty-five-a of this article and had no knowledge
     7  of eligibility pursuant to section six hundred twenty-four of this arti-
     8  cle.
     9    § 3. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 627  of  the  executive
    10  law,  as  added  by  section 18 of part A-1 of chapter 56 of the laws of
    11  2010, is amended to read as follows:
    12    (c) the investigation and determination of claims regardless of wheth-
    13  er the alleged criminal has been arrested, charged, apprehended or pros-
    14  ecuted for or convicted of any crime based upon the  same  incident,  or
    15  has  been  acquitted, or found not guilty of the crime in question owing
    16  to criminal irresponsibility or other legal exemption;
    17    § 4. Subdivision 1 of section 631 of the executive law, as  separately
    18  amended  by chapters 189 and 295 of the laws of 2018, is amended to read
    19  as follows:
    20    1. No award shall be made unless the office finds that:  (a)  a  crime
    21  was  committed[,]; (b) such crime directly resulted in personal physical
    22  injury to or the exacerbation of a preexisting disability, or condition,
    23  or death of, the victim[,]; and (c) either: (i) criminal justice  agency
    24  records  show  that  such  crime  was  [promptly] reported to the proper
    25  authorities[; and in no case may an award be  made  where  the  criminal
    26  justice agency records show that such report was made more than one week
    27  after  the  occurrence  of  such crime unless the office, for good cause
    28  shown, finds the delay to have been justified. Notwithstanding the fore-
    29  going provisions of this subdivision, in cases involving an alleged  sex
    30  offense  as  contained in article one hundred thirty of the penal law or
    31  incest as defined in section 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of the  penal  law
    32  or  labor  trafficking  as defined in section 135.35 of the penal law or
    33  sex trafficking as defined in sections 230.34 and 230.34-a of the  penal
    34  law or an offense chargeable as a family offense as described in section
    35  eight  hundred  twelve  of the family court act or section 530.11 of the
    36  criminal procedure law, the criminal justice agency report need only  be
    37  made]  within  a  reasonable  time  considering  all  the circumstances,
    38  including the victim's physical,  emotional  and  mental  condition  and
    39  family  situation[.];  or (ii) satisfactory evidence is provided to show
    40  that such crime occurred. Such evidence may include, but is not  limited
    41  to, one or more of the following:
    42    (A) a written statement provided by a victim services provider who has
    43  provided  services  to the victim of the crime, or other eligible claim-
    44  ants as identified in section six hundred twenty-four of  this  article,
    45  in response to the impact of the qualifying crime;
    46    (B) a statement provided by a witness to the qualifying crime;
    47    (C)  a  statement  from  the victim attesting to the victim's personal
    48  physical injury or the exacerbation  of  a  preexisting  disability,  or
    49  condition  provided  that the office shall not require the disclosure of
    50  confidential information relating to such physical injury;
    51    (D) a temporary or permanent restraining  order  or  protective  order
    52  issued  by  a court to protect or separate the victim, or other eligible
    53  claimants as identified in section six hundred twenty-four of this arti-
    54  cle, from the person who is responsible for the qualifying crime;
    55    (E) a statement from a licensed medical provider, physician's  assist-
    56  ant,  nurse  practitioner or other person licensed to provide medical or

        A. 8619--B                          3
 
     1  mental health care documenting  that  the  victim  experienced  physical
     2  injury  or the exacerbation of a preexisting disability, or condition as
     3  a result of the qualifying crime; or
     4    (F) a video, audio, or photographic recording of the commission of the
     5  qualifying crime.
     6    For  the purposes of this subdivision, "criminal justice agency" shall
     7  include, but not be limited to, a police department, a  district  attor-
     8  ney's  office,  and  any other governmental agency having responsibility
     9  for the enforcement of the criminal laws of the state provided, however,
    10  that in cases involving such sex offense or family  offense  a  criminal
    11  justice  agency  shall  also  mean a family court, a governmental agency
    12  responsible for child and/or adult protective services pursuant to title
    13  six of article six of the social services law and/or title one of  arti-
    14  cle  nine-B  of the social services law, and any medical facility estab-
    15  lished under the laws of the state that  provides  a  forensic  physical
    16  examination for victims of rape and sexual assault.
    17    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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