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A11084 Summary:

BILL NOA11084
 
SAME ASSAME AS S09022
 
SPONSORRules (Cruz)
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 94-d, Exec L
 
Establishes a temporary state assistance fund to provide legal counsel for bankruptcy proceedings under chapter eleven of the federal bankruptcy code and provides for the administration thereof.
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A11084 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          11084
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     October 7, 2020
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  COMMITTEE  ON  RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Cruz) --
          read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary
 
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing a  tempo-
          rary  state  assistance fund to provide legal counsel in certain bank-
          ruptcy proceedings and providing for the administration thereof

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "save merchants and retail tenants (SMART) act".
     3    § 2. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 94-d to read
     4  as follows:
     5    § 94-d. Temporary state assistance to fund legal services  in  certain
     6  bankruptcy proceedings. 1. Definitions. As used in this section:
     7    (a) "Administrator" means the New York office of court administration.
     8    (b) "Covered business" means any small business, not-for-profit corpo-
     9  ration,  limited partnership, limited liability company, limited liabil-
    10  ity partnership,  as  well  as  other  miscellaneous  businesses,  which
    11  conducts  a  majority  of  its  business  in the state and was adversely
    12  affected by COVID-19 or public health restrictions enforced by the state
    13  during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are eligible for  relief  under  the
    14  federal Small Business Reorganization Act, as amended by the Coronavirus
    15  Aid,  Relief,  and  Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, and files for
    16  bankruptcy protection under such act prior to March twenty-seventh,  two
    17  thousand twenty-one.
    18    (c)  "Bankruptcy  court"  means the United States bankruptcy court for
    19  the northern, southern, eastern or western district of the state.
    20    (d) "Legal services" means individualized legal assistance in a single
    21  consultation and/or ongoing legal representation, provided  by  a  legal
    22  services provider to a covered business, and all legal advice, advocacy,
    23  and assistance associated with such service.
    24    (e)  "Legal  services  provider" means an individual, organization, or
    25  association that has the authority to  provide  legal  services  and  is
    26  designated by the administrator to provide such services.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD17046-03-0

        A. 11084                            2
 
     1    2.  Temporary access to legal services for small businesses in certain
     2  bankruptcy proceedings. All covered  businesses  shall  have  access  to
     3  legal  services  as provided in this subdivision and made available in a
     4  fund maintained by the administrator pursuant  to  subdivision  four  of
     5  this section.
     6    (a)   Covered   businesses  affected  by  COVID-19  or  public  health
     7  restrictions enforced by the state during the COVID-19  pandemic,  which
     8  file  for relief under the federal Small Business Reorganization Act, as
     9  amended by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and  Economic  Security  (CARES)
    10  Act,  prior to March twenty-seventh, two thousand twenty-one, shall have
    11  access to legal services in connection with the filing  and  prosecution
    12  under chapter eleven of the federal bankruptcy code.
    13    (b)  In  all  cases, access to legal services established in paragraph
    14  (a) of this subdivision shall terminate:
    15    (i) upon the termination or dismissal of the bankruptcy proceeding;
    16    (ii) at the recommendation of the United States trustee; or
    17    (iii) at the recommendation of the assigned United  States  bankruptcy
    18  judge.
    19    (c) In all cases, the right to counsel established in paragraph (a) of
    20  this subdivision shall not extend to appeals.
    21    3.  Powers  and  duties  of  the  administrator.  The administrator is
    22  charged with implementing the requirements of this section no later than
    23  October first, two thousand twenty, and may promulgate such rules, poli-
    24  cies, and procedures as may be necessary and appropriate  to  accomplish
    25  such  implementation. The administrator shall have the power and respon-
    26  sibility to:
    27    (a) ensure  independent,  competent,  and  zealous  representation  of
    28  covered  businesses  receiving  legal services provided pursuant to this
    29  section;
    30    (b) examine, evaluate, and monitor legal services provided pursuant to
    31  this section;
    32    (c) establish measures of performance to monitor the quality of  legal
    33  services and the overall effectiveness of such legal services;
    34    (d)   target  grants  in  support  of  innovative  and  cost-effective
    35  solutions that enhance the provision of legal services; and
    36    (e)  investigate  and  monitor  any  other  matters  relevant  to  the
    37  provision of legal services which the administrator deems important.
    38    4.  Funding.  (a) The state shall establish a dedicated fund and shall
    39  appropriate sufficient sums into  such  fund  to  fully  carry  out  the
    40  requirements  of  this  section.  Funds necessary to fully carry out the
    41  requirements of this section shall be determined by  the  administrator,
    42  in consultation with the director of the division of the budget.
    43    (b) The administrator shall be charged with ensuring that appropriated
    44  funds  are  timely  distributed  to  legal  services  providers  for the
    45  provision of legal services.
    46    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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