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A00584 Summary:

BILL NOA00584
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01777
 
SPONSORBraunstein
 
COSPNSRJones, Jacobson, Goodell, Ra, Montesano, Giglio JM, Walsh, Friend, Brabenec, Schmitt
 
MLTSPNSRBarclay
 
Amd 355, Ed L
 
Directs the board of trustees of the state university to require applicants to state-operated institutions to state whether they have been convicted of a violent felony sex offense.
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A00584 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A584
 
SPONSOR: Braunstein
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to directing the board of trustees of the state university to include, on every application for admission to a state-operated institution, a question on whether the applicant has been convicted of any violent felony sex offense   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Directs the Board of Trustees of the State University to require appli- cants to state-operated institutions to state whether they have been convicted of a violent felony sex offense.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends Section 355 of the Education Law by adding a new subdivision 17-a. Subdivision 17-a requires the Board of Trustees of the State University to adopt rules providing that each application for admission to a state-operated institution shall require the appli- cant to state whether he or she has ever been convicted of a violent felony sex offense, as defined in subdivision one of Section 70.80 of the Penal Law, in New York or of an offense in any other jurisdiction in the United States. If an applicant has been convicted of such offense, he or she shall identify the violent felony sex offense or offenses of which he or she was convicted, the date or dates of such conviction or convictions, and the court or courts in which such conviction or convictions were rendered.   JUSTIFICATION: In September, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) approved a change, to take effect on July 1, 2017, eliminat- ing the question on applications about whether a student has ever been convicted of a felony. Prospective students will instead "be asked to declare a prior felony conviction post-admission and only when they seek campus housing or participation in clinical or field experiences, internships, or study abroad programs." According to SUNY adminis- tration, it will not conduct background checks or search Megan's Law sex offender lists before admission. Prior to the adoption of these new rules, SUNY established a "Ban the Box Workgroup comprised of system and campus representatives, to evalu- ate its admissions policies and practices." According to SUNY, this workgroup did not include any representation from women's rights or victims' rights organizations. Additionally, no women's rights or victims' rights groups testified at a public hearing on this issue in May, 2016. While the goal of SUNY's new policy is to "balance the right of individ- uals with prior convictions against legitimate concerns for safety on campus," the Albany Times Union reported that Board of Trustees consid- ered an exception in the case of a prospective student convicted of a felony sex offense, but decided against it. Research by the United States Department of Justice and The White House Council on Women and Girls indicates that 1 in 5 college females are the victims of actual or attempted sexual assault, and only 12% of student victims report the assault to law enforcement. The goal of SUNY's new policy is admirable, since its report found that "62.5 percent of candidates who were asked to disclose prior felony convictions on SUNY admissions applications did not complete the appli- cation process." However, by eliminating the conviction question even for violent sexual felonies. SUNY's new policy puts college students at risk from convicted sex offenders and contradicts the major changes New York State has instituted in the last few years to fight the disturbing rise in campus sexual assaults.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-2018: A.6961 - Referred to Higher Education. 2019-2020: A.583/S.1954 - Referred to Higher Education.   FISCAL IMPACT: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE:
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A00584 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           584
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. BRAUNSTEIN, JONES, JACOBSON, GOODELL, RA, MONTES-
          ANO, J. M. GIGLIO, WALSH, FRIEND, BRABENEC, SCHMITT -- Multi-Sponsored
          by  --  M. of A. BARCLAY -- read once and referred to the Committee on
          Higher Education

        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to directing the board of
          trustees of the state university to include, on every application  for
          admission  to  a state-operated institution, a question on whether the
          applicant has been convicted of any violent felony sex offense
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 355 of the education law is amended by adding a new
     2  subdivision 17-a to read as follows:
     3    17-a.  The board of trustees of the state university shall adopt rules
     4  providing that each application for admission to a state-operated insti-
     5  tution shall require the applicant to state whether he or she  has  ever
     6  been  convicted  of a violent felony sex offense, as defined in subdivi-
     7  sion one of section 70.80 of the penal law,  in  this  state  or  of  an
     8  offense  in  any  other jurisdiction in the United States which includes
     9  all of the essential elements of a violent felony sex  offense  in  this
    10  state.  If an applicant has been convicted of such an offense, he or she
    11  shall identify the violent felony sex offense or offenses of which he or
    12  she was convicted, the date or dates of such conviction or  convictions,
    13  and  the  court  or  courts in which such conviction or convictions were
    14  rendered.
    15    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
 
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03385-01-1
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