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A05318 Summary:

BILL NOA05318
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02356
 
SPONSORRozic (MS)
 
COSPNSRAbbate, Abinanti, Blake, Bronson, Colton, Crespo, Jones, Otis, Raia, Richardson, Rodriguez, Simon, Seawright, Pheffer Amato, Bichotte, Griffin, Rosenthal L, Fall, Perry, Cruz, Fernandez, Buttenschon, Wallace, Reyes
 
MLTSPNSRGalef, McDonough, Thiele
 
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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A05318 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A5318
 
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: 2018: A1056 (Rozic) - Passed Assembly 2017: A01056 (Rozic) - Passed Assembly 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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