Establishes the office of the advocate for people with disabilities to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities and assure that persons with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to exercise all of the rights and responsibilities accorded to citizens of the state of New York.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9004
SPONSOR: Steck (MS)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing the
office of the advocate for people with disabilities
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Establishes the office of the advocate for people with disabilities;
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the executive law by creating a new article 19-E to
establish the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities.
Section 2: Repeals Article 25 of the Executive Law. Section 3: Repeals
Section 559 of the Executive Law. Section 4: Article 23-A Education.
Section 5: Effective Date.
There is currently no agency-level office for people with physical disa-
bilities to contact. This office was originally established by Governor
Mario Cuomo in 1983 through Executive Order No. 26. As one of his first
acts in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo continued Executive Order 26.
However, despite the existence of the Office on the books, most of the
disability advocacy functions that existed in state government within
the original Office of the Advocate have disappeared throughout the
This office will function as an advocate for the rights of people with
disabilities to help receive services and support that enable them to
make informed choices and decisions.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A1070605/30/18 passed assembly
05/30/18 delivered to Senate
05/30/18 REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
A4737/S674 05/29/19 Passed Senate and Assembly
12/13/19 Vetoed Memo. 208
To Be Determined
This act shall take effect April 1, 2021, provided, however, that the
governor is authorized to take, notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
whatever steps are necessary to effectively and efficiently transfer the
functions transferred to the office of the advocate for people with
disabilities from other agencies of the state so that the office of the
advocate for people with disabilities may fully commence operation on
the effective date of this act.
STATE OF NEW YORK
January 10, 2020
Introduced by M. of A. STECK, REYES, COLTON, SIMON, JAFFEE, DE LA ROSA,
DeSTEFANO, CROUCH, MOSLEY, COOK, STERN, D'URSO, ENGLEBRIGHT, SANTABAR-
BARA, M. G. MILLER, BARRON, ZEBROWSKI, RIVERA, DICKENS, ROMEO, GOTT-
FRIED, MONTESANO, MORINELLO, KOLB, WALSH, CRUZ, BUTTENSCHON, OTIS,
WEPRIN, L. ROSENTHAL, FRONTUS, SEAWRIGHT, GRIFFIN, FALL, NIOU, JACOB-
SON, M. L. MILLER -- read once and referred to the Committee on
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing the
office of the advocate for people with disabilities
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new article 19-E
2 to read as follows:
3 ARTICLE 19-E
4 OFFICE OF THE ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
5 Section 460. Legislative intent.
6 461. Definitions.
7 462. Office of the advocate for people with disabilities.
8 463. Director; general responsibilities.
9 § 460. Legislative intent. Persons with disabilities comprise a major
10 segment of the state of New York's population and their particular needs
11 and concerns must be considered as an integral part of the planning and
12 implementation of all state programs and services affecting their lives
13 and well-being. The office of the advocate for people with disabilities
14 shall advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities and assure that
15 persons with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to exercise all
16 of the rights and responsibilities accorded to citizens of this state.
17 § 461. Definitions. For purposes of this article:
18 (a) "Persons with disabilities" shall mean any person who has a disa-
19 bility as defined in subdivision twenty-one of section two hundred nine-
20 ty-two of this chapter.
21 (b) "State agency" or "state agencies" shall mean any state depart-
22 ment, board, bureau, division, commission, committee, public authority,
23 public corporation, council, office or other governmental entity
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 9004 2
1 performing a governmental or proprietary function for the state, except
2 the judiciary or the state legislature.
3 § 462. Office of the advocate for people with disabilities. (a) There
4 is hereby established within the department of the state, an office of
5 the advocate for people with disabilities. The office of the advocate
6 for people with disabilities shall advise and assist state agencies in
7 developing policies designed to help meet the needs of persons with
9 (b) The office of the advocate for people with disabilities shall: (i)
10 be the state's coordinator for the implementation of the Americans with
11 Disabilities Act; (ii) coordinate state activities to ensure that state
12 programs do not discriminate against and are accessible to persons with
13 disabilities; (iii) ensure that such programs provide services to indi-
14 viduals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to
15 their needs; and (iv) work with state agencies to develop legislation
16 and potential regulatory changes to help effectuate the duties and
17 responsibilities required in this article, and any other changes that
18 may significantly affect the lives of persons with disabilities in the
20 (c) The office of the advocate for people with disabilities shall, to
21 the extent practicable, review and report to the governor upon proposed
22 legislation and regulations. The office of the advocate for people with
23 disabilities shall submit comments, where appropriate, to the state
24 agency which referred such proposed legislation and regulations evaluat-
25 ing: (i) the impact of the proposed legislation or regulation upon
26 persons with disabilities; (ii) the relationship and impact of such
27 proposed legislation or regulation on existing programs affecting
28 persons with disabilities; and (iii) any modifications that would help
29 persons with disabilities or aid in the implementation of the new
30 proposal. All state agencies shall cooperate with the office of the
31 advocate for people with disabilities to ensure that the office is able
32 to fulfill the requirements under this article.
33 § 463. Director; general responsibilities. The head of the office of
34 the advocate for people with disabilities shall be the director, who
35 shall be appointed by the governor and receive a salary to be fixed by
36 the governor within the amounts appropriated therefor. The director,
37 subject to rules prescribed by the governor, may appoint and fix the
38 compensation of employees of the office within the amounts appropriated
40 § 2. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 702 of the executive law, as
41 added by chapter 551 of the laws of 2002, are amended to read as
43 1. The most integrated setting coordinating council is hereby created
44 within the executive department to have and exercise the functions,
45 powers and duties provided by the provisions of this article and any
46 other provision of law. The council shall be comprised of the commis-
47 sioners of: the department of health, the office [of mental retardation
48 and] for people with developmental disabilities, the office of mental
49 health, the department of transportation, the office of children and
50 family services, the office of [alcohol and substance abuse] addiction
51 services and supports, the department of education, and the division of
52 housing and community renewal. In addition, the council shall consist of
53 the director of the office for the aging, [a representative from] the
54 director of the office of the advocate for [persons] people with disa-
55 bilities, [a representative from the commission on quality of care for
56 the mentally disabled,] three consumers of services for individuals with
A. 9004 3
1 disabilities, one to be appointed by the governor, one to be appointed
2 by the temporary president of the senate, and one to be appointed by the
3 speaker of the assembly, three individuals with expertise in the field
4 of community services for people of all ages with disabilities, one to
5 be appointed by the governor, one to be appointed by the temporary pres-
6 ident of the senate, and one to be appointed by the speaker of the
7 assembly, and three individuals with expertise in or recipients of
8 services available to senior citizens with disabilities, one to be
9 appointed by the governor, one to be appointed by the temporary presi-
10 dent of the senate, and one to be appointed by the speaker of the assem-
12 2. The [commissioners of the department of health, the office of
13 mental health, the office of mental retardation and developmental disa-
14 bilities, and the director of the office for the aging] director of the
15 office of the advocate for people with disabilities shall [rotate] serve
16 as chairperson of the council [on a quarterly basis].
17 § 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2021.