Bill S3110-2011

Relates to payments of taxes in installments in certain school districts

Relates to payments of taxes in installments in certain school districts.

Details

Actions

  • Sep 23, 2011: SIGNED CHAP.551
  • Sep 12, 2011: DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • Jun 1, 2011: returned to senate
  • Jun 1, 2011: passed assembly
  • Jun 1, 2011: ordered to third reading cal.476
  • Jun 1, 2011: substituted for a6719
  • May 23, 2011: referred to ways and means
  • May 23, 2011: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • May 23, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • May 17, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 16, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 11, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.627
  • Feb 8, 2011: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Local Government - May 11, 2011
Ayes (7): Martins, Ball, Little, McDonald, Ritchie, Stewart-Cousins, Klein
Excused (1): Oppenheimer

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3110

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to payments of taxes in installments in certain school districts

PURPOSE: To allow payment of taxes in installments.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 - amends section 1326-a of the real property tax law. Current law is every tax in excess of fifty dollars may be paid in three installments, the first of which shall be at least fifty percent of the total tax due. This bill would add a provision to read "or such other amount as may be prescribed by such resolution."

Section 2 - sets forth the enacting clause.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently if taxes are paid in installments the first installment must be at least fifty percent of the total tax due. This would allow by resolution reduced minimum payments which would lift the burden on many taxpayers in this current economic crisis. Moreover, the flexibility of the bill would allow tax collectors to accept payments from taxpayers rather than turning them away if the payment was not high enough.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2008-10 S.5781-A/A.9042-A

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

Section 2 of the bill amends Executive Law §995-c(3) to: (1) specify the public servants responsible for collection of DNA samples from designated offenders; (2) allow certain fees to support such collection; (3) ensure that DNA samples can be collected from uncooperative offenders; and (4) address the possibility of DNA profiles being wrongly included in the state identification index.

Section 3 of the bill amends Executive Law §995-f to provide that it is a violation of a defendant's conditions of probation or parole for the defendant to fail to provide a DNA sample when required.

Section 4 of the bill amends Executive Law §995-c(4) to provide that the Division of Criminal Justice Services shall promulgate rules and regulations governing procedures for obtaining DNA samples from persons subject to registration as sex offenders.

Section 5 of the bill adds a new subdivision 3-a to Executive Law. §995-b to require the Commission on Forensic Science to develop

voluntary guidelines reflecting best practices in the collection and preservation of biological evidence by law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories.

Section 6 of the bill adds a new section 837-s to the Executive Law to create an Office of Wrongful Conviction Review within the Division of Criminal Justice Services. The office will review cases in which defendants were exonerated, to determine the causes of wrongful convictions and consider reforms that could lessen the likelihood of similar unjust convictions in the future. The reviews will include participation by prosecutors, defense attorneys, former judges, and other experts.

Sections 7 and 8 of the bill amend Criminal Procedure Law §§ 160.50(1) (d) and 190 25(4) to provide that the Office of Wrongful Conviction Review will have access to otherwise unavailable materials pertaining to grand jury proceedings and terminations of criminal cases in favor of the accused.

Section 9 of the bill amends Criminal Procedure Law §3010(4)(a) to provide that the statute of limitations shall be tolled for up to five years when a DNA profile identified from crime scene evidence could not with reasonable diligence be matched to a known individual.

Section 10 of the bill adds a new subdivision 1-a to Criminal Procedure Law §240.40 to provide a defendant a pre-trial discovery right, on appropriate showings, to have crime scene DNA evidence compared with his or her own DNA, or compared against DNA databanks.

Sections 11, 12, 13, and 14 of the bill amend Criminal Procedure Law § 440.10 to provide that a defendant shall file any motion for post-conviction relief within one year after the conviction becomes final, and shall include all grounds for such relief in a single motion rather than file successive motions. Noncompliance with these requirements can warrant denial of the motion, but motions based on newly discovered evidence of innocence may be made at any time, and even if the defendant has previously sought and been denied post-conviction relief.

Section 15 of the bill amends Criminal Procedure Law §440.30(1-a)(a) to extend access to DNA testing for purposes of post-conviction relief, on proper showings, to a defendant who pled guilty. It also allows a defendant to apply for crime scene DNA evidence to be tested not only against his or her own DNA, but also against profiles in DNA databanks maintained by law enforcement.

Section 16 of the bill adds a new subdivision 8 to Criminal Procedure Law §section 440.30 to provide that if the prosecution becomes aware of evidence exonerating a convicted defendant, it is required to notify the court, which shall notify the defendant, appoint defense counsel if appropriate, and may consider releasing the defendant on bail.

Section 17 of the bill adds a new subdivision 7 to Criminal Procedure Law §440.40 to provide that the prosecution may move to vacate a judgment of conviction on the ground of a defendant's actual innocence. It provides for appointment of defense counsel,

consideration of release on bail, and prompt judicial resolution through either a summary grant of the motion or an evidentiary hearing.

Section 18 of the bill adds a new subdivision 4-b to Penal Law §65.10 to provide that when a court imposes a sentence that includes probation or a conditional discharge, it shall require as a mandatory condition of such sentence that the defendant provide a DNA sample.

Section 19 of the bill amends Court of Claims Act §8-b to provide that an unjustly convicted defendant may obtain compensation whether or not the defendant's conviction was overturned on one of the grounds currently enumerated in the statute, as long as it was overturned for reasons involving facts and circumstances directly supporting the defendant's claim of innocence.

Section 20 of the bill provides for an effective date of November 1, 2009. It applies the expansion of DNA collection to any defendant convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender on or after that date, and to any person incarcerated or subject to probation or parole supervision, or to a sex offender registration requirement, on or after that date. It also provides that the provisions relating to the Office of Wrongful Conviction Review shall expire on September 1, 2013.

EXISTING LAW:

DNA samples are currently collected from persons convicted of some but not all crimes. The list of crimes subject to collection has been expanded three times, but many misdemeanor convictions remain outside the scope of collection. Currently there is no DNA collection from persons adjudicated youthful offenders or subject to sex offender registration. Existing law does not make clear which officials are responsible for collecting DNA samples in various cases, nor does it require that defendants provide DNA samples as a condition of probation or parole.

There is no requirement to develop best practice guidelines for collection and preservation of biological evidence Nor is there a requirement to study cases in which defendants have been wrongfully convicted and subsequently exonerated.

Criminal Procedure Law §30.10(4)(a) provides that the statute of limitations shall be tolled for up to five years when the whereabouts of the defendant were continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence This has been interpreted to include defendants whose identity is unknown.

Criminal Procedure Law §240.40 defines the scope of a defendant's right of pretrial discovery of existing evidence, but it does not include the authority to apply for court-ordered DNA testing.

Article 440 of the Criminal Procedure Law currently places no limitations on when or how many motions for post-conviction relief may be filed by a defendant Section 440.30(1-a) provides that a defendant may apply for DNA testing of evidence secured in connection with the trial, but it does not include application for an order to have.such evidence compared against DNA databanks maintained by law

enforcement. Moreover, in PEOPLE V. BYRDSONG, 33 A.D.3d 175 (2d Dept. 2006), the existing authority was held inapplicable to defendants who pled guilty. There is currently no mechanism in the Criminal Procedure Law for a prosecutor to move for a judgment of conviction to be vacated, even when new evidence would support a claim of innocence Prosecutors do not currently have an explicit legal or ethical duty to bring such evidence to the attention of a court.

Section 8-b of the Court of Claims Act allows wrongfully convicted defendants to seek compensation from the State. However, this provision is currently restricted by a requirement that the defendant must show that the conviction was overturned on one of certain enumerated procedural grounds, even if it was in substance based on facts supporting a claim of innocence.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:

DNA technology is already a valuable tool for both law enforcement and criminal defendants. This bill significantly expands the value of this tool for all parties. It will result in more persons who are guilty of crimes being identified, prosecuted, and convicted. It will also give defendants facing trial, and those wrongfully convicted, significantly greater access to DNA testing for purposes of exoneration.

1. EXPANSION OF THE DNA DATABANK

The benefits of DNA comparisons to law enforcement are well documented and commonly known. When crime scene DNA evidence is matched to a profile in a DNA databank, it can allow the prompt identification and prosecution of the guilty party. The benefits of such comparisons to wrongfully convicted defendants are also well known. DNA testing has resulted in exoneration of numerous defendants, including some in New York, who were imprisoned for substantial periods.

The demonstrated effectiveness of these techniques has already led the Legislature on several occasions to expand the scope of DNA collections from convicted defendants. Yet, no provisions exist for collecting samples from persons convicted of various misdemeanors, from youthful offenders, or from persons subject to registration as sex offenders Experience has shown that having samples from an expanded pool of convicted defendants, even if their convictions are only for low-level crimes, can substantially enhance the utility of DNA in solving more serious crimes. Solving a crime typically can result in convicting the guilty, but can also result in exonerating the innocent.

2. ENSURING PROPER COLLECTION AND PRESERVATION OF DNA SAMPLES

The bill further enhances the use of DNA technology by ensuring that defendants required to give samples actually do so. Currently there are failures to collect samples from a substantial number of defendants who "fall through the cracks." The bill addresses this problem by specifying the public officers responsible for collecting the samples, and by requiring that a defendant under probation or

parole supervision provide a DNA sample as a condition of that supervision By facilitating the successful collection of a DNA sample from every person convicted of a crime, adjudicated a youthful offender, or subject to registration as a sex offender, this bill will make for more effective law enforcement and more effective defense of the innocent.

In addition to increasing the size of DNA databanks, the bill will enhance their integrity as well. The bill requires the Commission on Forensic Science to develop voluntary guidelines reflecting best practices in the collection and preservation of biological evidence, and it requires periodic review to ensure that DNA profiles that should not be in the state index are removed.

3. EXTENDING STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS TO PERMIT DNA IDENTIFICATIONS

Currently, a statute of limitations is extended by up to five years if the whereabouts of the defendant are continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence. When law enforcement has identified a perpetrator's DNA profile from a crime scene, the same policy considerations apply, and indeed apply even more strongly given the reliability and durability of DNA evidence. The most effective technique for ascertaining the identity of the perpetrator is to enter the profile into DNA databanks where it can be compared against existing profiles and periodically re-compared as new profiles come into that databank. There is no reason to require further diligence through avenues of investigation likely to be much less effective.

4. EXONERATING THE INNOCENT

While expansion of the DNA databank will be of value to prosecutors and defendants alike, there are other provisions of the bill that will significantly increase the value of DNA technology specifically to the wrongfully accused. While defendants currently have the right to apply for DNA testing to support post-conviction relief, this bill removes four significant limitations on that right.

First, the current right is limited to the post-conviction context. When DNA technology can establish the innocence of a criminal defendant, it is obviously far preferable to do so before trial, rather than after conviction and possibly lengthy imprisonment This bill extends the availability of DNA testing to defendants as a matter of pre-trial discovery.

Second, the right to apply for DNA testing has been held inapplicable to defendants who pled guilty. Actual experience shows that even in cases of guilty pleas, convicted defendants have occasionally been exonerated. While there may not be many such defendants, their need for redress is compelling, and this bill would give them access to DNA testing on an appropriate showing.

Third, the right to apply for DNA testing is limited to comparison between crime scene evidence and the defendant's own DNA. Yet it can also be highly useful for an innocent defendant to obtain comparison

between crime-scene evidence and government databanks that include DNA profiles of persons convicted of crimes and other crime scene evidence. A match to a databank profile can lead to further investigation that can in turn identify another party as the actual perpetrator and thus exonerate the defendant. This bill therefore allows such comparisons.

Fourth, merely obtaining exonerative DNA evidence is not enough unless there are procedures ensuring its proper judicial consideration. This bill, for the first time, would create an obligation for prosecutors to bring exonerative evidence, whether or not based on DNA, to the attention of the court When such evidence is so strong as to lead the prosecutor to conclude that the defendant is actually innocent, it creates for the first time a procedural vehicle by which the prosecutor can move for the judgment of conviction to be vacated. In either case, there are also provisions that ensure the prompt and appropriate judicial attention to such evidence, including the appointment of defense counsel when necessary, the possibility of the convicted defendant's release on bail, and evidentiary hearings on the exonerative evidence. Taken together, these innovations will vastly enhance the value of DNA evidence to the wrongfully accused.

5. STREAMLINING PROCEDURES FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The bill also includes provisions that will make the procedures for seeking post conviction relief more streamlined, efficient, and timely. Defendants are currently allowed to move for such relief whenever they wish, and as many times as they wish. Many defendants do indeed file motion after motion, creating serious and unnecessary burdens on the bench and bar. Common sense limitations similar to those followed in other jurisdictions would reduce those burdens while still allowing defendants to assert every colorable claim for post-conviction relief. In particular, under this bill, a defendant would have a full year after the conviction becomes final to assert all such claims in a single motion. Even thereafter, the bill would preserve the defendant's ability at any time to make even successive motions in certain cases when there is DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence to support a claim of innocence.

6. PROVIDING COMPENSATION TO EXONERATED DEFENDANTS

In addition to facilitating the exoneration of wrongfully convicted defendants, the bill would ensure their access to appropriate remedies following such exoneration. While there is already a remedy in the Court of Claims Act for exonerated defendants to seek damages from the State, this remedy is limited by an overly restrictive limitation to claimants whose convictions were overturned on certain specified procedural bases. The bill removes that limitation to allow meritorious claims to go forward without regard to procedural distinctions that are not necessarily related to the claim of actual innocence.

7. INNOCENCE REVIEW OFFICE

Finally, the bill seeks not only to correct the mistakes of the past but also to learn from them. It establishes an Office of Wrongful

Conviction Review that will study cases in which defendants have been wrongfully convicted and subsequently exonerated. This process, by identifying the flaws in the system that allowed such wrongful convictions to occur, should shed new light on how to reform the criminal justice system to minimize the chance that such miscarriages of justice may recur in the future.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-10: S.3110A Referred to Codes 2007: S.5848 - Passed Senate 52-9/Assembly Codes Hostile Amendment was defeated. The bill was debated. 2008: Senate Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Databank expansion would carry a fiscal impact, but the greatest expense - the capital cost of increasing testing capacity - has already been incurred in response to previous increases in the scope of collection. It is estimated that further expansion of collection to all crimes, including persons on probation, would require outsourced testing of about 50,000 samples, but because of the existing testing backlog, none of these costs will be incurred in the current fiscal year. After testing of the initial surge, it should be possible for the ongoing work on the expanded flow of cases to be handled within existing levels of lab expenditures. It is estimated that the new Office of Wrongful Conviction Review may cost up to $1 million per year. The other provisions of the bill are estimated to have minimal fiscal impact.

EFFECTIVE DATE

This bill becomes effective on November 1, 2010, except that sections six through eight of the bill become effective April 1, 2011, and expire on September 1, 2014. The expanded scope of DNA collection would apply to any person who, on or after the effective date, is convicted of a crime, adjudicated a youthful offender, or is incarcerated or subject to requirements of probation or parole supervision or sex offender registration.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3110 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 8, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. DeFRANCISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to payments of taxes in installments in certain school districts THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 1326-a of the real property tax law, as amended by chapter 665 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows: 1. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter or any other general or special law to the contrary, a school district may, by resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote prior to the levy of taxes in any year, [provided] PROVIDE that thereafter and until such resolution is rescind- ed, every tax in excess of fifty dollars levied by the board pursuant to law may be paid in three installments, the first of which shall be at least fifty percent of the total tax due, OR SUCH OTHER AMOUNT AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY SUCH RESOLUTION, and shall be paid not later than the last day of the one month collection period prescribed by subdivision one of section thirteen hundred twenty-two or section thirteen hundred twenty- four of this article and, provided the first installment has been paid, the second shall be at least fifty percent of the remainder, OR SUCH OTHER AMOUNT AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY SUCH RESOLUTION, plus interest at the rate as determined pursuant to section nine hundred twenty-four-a of this chapter, and shall be paid on or before the date specified in the resolution for the second payment, and the third shall be the remainder plus interest at the rate determined pursuant to section nine hundred twenty-four-a of this chapter and shall be paid on or before the date specified in the resolution for the expiration of the warrant. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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