Bill S1909C-2009

Increases penalties for vandalism to a house of worship or theft from a house of worship

Increases penalties for vandalism to a house of worship or theft of a house of worship; includes any statues, menorahs and nativity scenes located outside the building or structure of worship on the property of the religious corporation.

Details

Actions

  • May 12, 2010: referred to codes
  • May 12, 2010: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • May 12, 2010: PASSED SENATE
  • May 10, 2010: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 5, 2010: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 4, 2010: 1ST REPORT CAL.493
  • Apr 28, 2010: PRINT NUMBER 1909C
  • Apr 28, 2010: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jul 16, 2009: COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 4, 2009: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Jun 3, 2009: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Jun 2, 2009: 1ST REPORT CAL.563
  • May 28, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 1909B
  • May 28, 2009: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • May 13, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 1909A
  • May 13, 2009: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Feb 9, 2009: REFERRED TO CODES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Codes - May 4, 2010
Ayes (14): Schneiderman, Breslin, Parker, Huntley, Sampson, Klein, Perkins, Squadron, Volker, Saland, DeFrancisco, Bonacic, Lanza, Flanagan
Ayes W/R (2): Duane, Golden

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S1909C

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the penal law, in relation to vandalism and theft in connection with places of worship

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : Expands the definition of property of a place of religious worship and increases penalties for vandalism to or theft from a place of religious of worship.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS A Section 1: amends penal law section 155.30(9)to include in the definition of grand larceny in the fourth degree the theft of religious property consisting of a statue, menorah and nativity scene and any religious property located on real property owned, leased or utilized by a religious corporation that is located within one hundred feet of any building or structure.

Section 2: amends penal law section 240.70 to create a new definition of "property of a place of religious worship" for purposes of section 240.70 and a new section 240.75 of the penal law. Property of a place of religious worship includes property located within any building or structure used as a place of religious worship by a religious corporation, as incorporated under the religious corporations law or the education law, or located on real property owned, leased or utilized by such religious corporation within one hundred feet of any such building or structure.

Section 3 creates a new section 240.75 of the penal law, Aggravated interference with religious worship, an E felony. Aggravated interference with religious worship occurs when a person: 1. Injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person exercising religious freedom in violation of section 240.70(c)of the penal law and in the course of said commission damages property worth more than $150.00, or 2. Damages property of a place of religious worship in violation of section 240.70 (d) and the property is worth more than $150.00.

JUSTIFICATION : Religious institutions can ill afford the costs associated with thefts and vandalism to their facilities and their property. Statues and outdoor religious displays, especially temporary holiday displays, have been popular targets for thieves and vandals, as these items often have minimal security. Existing grand larceny statutes protect scrolls, religious vestments, vessels and other items used in connection with religious worship that are located in any building or structure used as a place of worship by a religious corporation, but do not afford the same protection to religious items displayed outside the facility. This bill affords this new protection. Current law also punishes intentional damage to the property of a house of worship as a class A misdemeanor, regardless of the amount of damage caused or the context in which the damage was caused. This bill creates a new E felony crime, aggravated interference with religious worship, for those instances in which a person damages property in the course of injuring, intimidating or interfering with religious freedom, and when property of a place of religious worship is damaged in an amount greater than $150.00. The criminal interference with religious worship law (240.70 and 240.74) is also expanded to include and protect property located outside and on the grounds of places of religious worship.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :; 2006 - S.6439 - Referred to Codes 2008 - S.2295 - Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :; None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1909--C 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 9, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, ADDABBO, DIAZ, DILAN, ESPADA, HASSELL-THOMP- SON, HUNTLEY, C. JOHNSON, KRUEGER, ONORATO, PARKER, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SCHNEIDERMAN, SERRANO, SMITH, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Codes in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to vandalism and theft in connection with places of worship THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section 155.30 of the penal law, as added by chapter 450 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows: 9. The property consists of a scroll, religious vestment, vessel, STATUE, MENORAH, NATIVITY SCENE or other item of property having a value of at least one hundred dollars kept for or used in connection with religious worship in any building or structure used as a place of reli- gious worship by a religious corporation, as incorporated under the religious corporations law or the education law, OR LOCATED ON REAL PROPERTY OWNED, LEASED OR UTILIZED BY SUCH A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION WITH- IN ONE HUNDRED FEET OF ANY SUCH BUILDING OR STRUCTURE. S 2. The opening paragraph and paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 3 of section 240.70 of the penal law, as added by chapter 635 of the laws of 1999, are amended and a new paragraph (f) is added to read as follows: For purposes of this section AND SECTION 240.75 OF THIS ARTICLE: (d) the term "physical obstruction" means rendering impassable ingress to or egress from a facility that provides reproductive health services
or to or from a place of religious worship, or rendering passage to or from such a facility or place of religious worship unreasonably diffi- cult or hazardous; [and] (e) the term "reproductive health services" means health care services provided in a hospital, clinic, physician's office or other facility and includes medical, surgical, counseling or referral services relating to the human reproductive system, including services relating to pregnancy or the termination of a pregnancy[.]; AND (F) THE TERM "PROPERTY OF A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP" INCLUDES PROP- ERTY LOCATED WITHIN ANY BUILDING OR STRUCTURE USED AS A PLACE OF RELI- GIOUS WORSHIP BY A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION, AS INCORPORATED UNDER THE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW OR THE EDUCATION LAW, OR LOCATED ON REAL PROPERTY OWNED, LEASED OR UTILIZED BY SUCH A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION WITH- IN ONE HUNDRED FEET OF ANY SUCH BUILDING OR STRUCTURE. S 3. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.75 to read as follows: S 240.75 AGGRAVATED INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS WORSHIP WHEN HE OR SHE: 1. COMMITS THE OFFENSE OF CRIMINAL INTERFERENCE WITH HEALTH CARE SERVICES OR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IN THE SECOND DEGREE AS DEFINED IN PARA- GRAPH (C) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 240.70 OF THIS ARTICLE, AND IN THE COURSE OF THE COMMISSION OF SUCH OFFENSE OR IMMEDIATE FLIGHT THERE- FROM HE OR SHE DAMAGES THE PROPERTY OF A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IN AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS; OR 2. COMMITS THE OFFENSE OF CRIMINAL INTERFERENCE WITH HEALTH CARE SERVICES OR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IN THE SECOND DEGREE AS DEFINED IN PARA- GRAPH (D) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 240.70 OF THIS ARTICLE BY MEANS OF INTENTIONALLY DAMAGING THE PROPERTY OF A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND SUCH DAMAGE IS IN AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS. AGGRAVATED INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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