A02513 Summary:

BILL NOA02513
 
SAME ASSAME AS S03695
 
SPONSORO'Donnell (MS)
 
COSPNSRHyndman, Abinanti, Simon, Walker, Gottfried, Peoples-Stokes, Glick, Quart, Perry, Dickens, Barron, Epstein, Mosley, Reyes, Crespo, Cruz, Aubry, D'Urso, De La Rosa, Fernandez, Pichardo, Simotas, Frontus, Williams, Rivera, Blake, Kim, Taylor, Seawright, Titus, Niou, Jaffee, Wright, Ortiz, Rosenthal L, Fahy, Carroll, McDonald, Rosenthal D, Lifton, Steck, Rozic, Buchwald, DenDekker, Lentol, Rodriguez, Hunter, Cahill, Bichotte, Stirpe, Joyner, Barrett, Otis, Dilan, Magnarelli, Gantt, Richardson, Lupardo, Bronson, Jean-Pierre, Davila
 
MLTSPNSRCook
 
Rpld 50-a, Civ Rts L
 
Repeals provisions relating to personnel records of police officers, firefighters and correction officers.
Go to top    

A02513 Actions:

BILL NOA02513
 
01/23/2019referred to governmental operations
01/08/2020referred to governmental operations
Go to top

A02513 Committee Votes:

Go to top

A02513 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
Go to top

A02513 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2513
 
SPONSOR: O'Donnell (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to repeal section 50-a of the civil rights law, relating to personnel records of police officers, firefighters and correction officers   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would repeal Section 50-a of the civil rights law.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill repeals section 50-a of the civil rights law. Section two is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: § 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law permits law enforcement officers to refuse disclosure of "personnel records used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion." This exemption was adopted in 1976 by the Legislature in order to prevent criminal defense lawyers from using such records in cross examination of police witnesses during criminal prosecutions. According to the 2014 annual report by the State Committee on Open Government to the Governor and the State Legislature, "this narrow exemption has been expanded in the courts to allow police departments to withhold from the public virtually any record that contains any information that could conceivably be used to evaluate the performance of a police officer." The evolution of § 50-a has defeated the Freedom of Information Law's (FOIL) goal of accountability and transparency. FOIL already provides all public employees, including those protected under § 50-a, the protections necessary to guard against unwarranted invasions of privacy and from disclosures that could jeopardize their security or safety. Furthermore, courts have the ability to protect against improper cross- examination and determine if police records are admissible in a trial, without the denial of public access to information regarding police activity created by § 50-a. The 1976 enactment of § 50-a may have been necessary to safeguard law enforcement officers from improper personnel record exposure during criminal prosecutions, but that is no longer the case today. The general rules and statutory exceptions of FOIL - for example in instances that disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy - are sufficient in protecting police from unfair cross examination by crimi- nal defense lawyers. Moreover, the State Committee on Open Government notes that "(S 50-a) creates a legal shield that prohibits disclosure, even when it is known that misconduct has occurred." FOIL's public poli- cy goals, which are to make government agencies and their employees accountable to the public, are thus undermined by the statute. Outright appeal of this statute will positively affect public trust in law enforcement and serve to hold police and other uniformed law enforcement officials to the same level of accountability applied to all other public employees:   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A. 9332 (2016, governmental operations); A. 3333 (2017-18,governmental operations)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
Go to top

A02513 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          2513
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 23, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  O'DONNELL, HYNDMAN, ABINANTI, SIMON, WALKER,
          GOTTFRIED,  PEOPLES-STOKES,  GLICK,  QUART,  PERRY,  DICKENS,  BARRON,
          EPSTEIN -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK, ORTIZ -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN  ACT  to  repeal  section  50-a  of the civil rights law, relating to
          personnel records of  police  officers,  firefighters  and  correction
          officers
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 50-a of the civil rights law is REPEALED.
     2    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02938-01-9
Go to top