Relates to permitting appeals to the department to be conducted by means of a conference telephone, video conference or similar communications systems with and by independent hearing officers.
Ayes (40): Adams, Alesi, Ball, Bonacic, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Duane, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Parker, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Seward, Skelos, Storobin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (17): Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Gianaris, Huntley, Krueger, Montgomery, Peralta, Perkins, Rivera, Serrano, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin
Excused (5): Farley, Hassell-Thomps, Libous, Oppenheimer, Smith
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to permitting appeals to the department to be conducted by means of a conference telephone, video conference or similar communications systems with and by independent hearing officers
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to enable the commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to embrace existing technology, reduce administrative costs, increase efficiencies, and provide a faster and more efficient fair hearing process for the benefit of all parties by conducting appeal hearings using teleconferencing or video conferencing equipment or independent fair hearing officers.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would enable the commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to conduct appeals using teleconferencing or video conferencing equipment, or use independent fair hearing officers for due process hearings.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently, OTDA conducts all fair hearing appeals using members of the commissioner's staff. As a result, fair hearings are sometimes delayed for several weeks pending the scheduling of these hearings. In addition, OTDA incurs extensive travel and related expenses.
Other State agencies routinely conduct hearings using teleconferencing or video conference equipment, saving the State time and money. often, these hearings are more convenient to the parties since they enable the parties to participate using their own telephone, computer, or similar equipment.
Corporations and other business entities have been authorized to use teleconference equipment pursuant to the Business Corporation Law for over 30 years, and such use is commonplace in the private sector.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6882 IN SENATE April 4, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to permitting appeals to the department to be conducted by means of a conference telephone, video conference or similar communications systems with and by independent hearing officers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 22 of the social services law, as added by chapter 473 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows: 2. In connection with any appeal pursuant to this section, with or without a fair hearing, the commissioner may designate and authorize one or more appropriate members of his staff OR INDEPENDENT FAIR HEARING OFFICERS to consider and decide such appeals. Any staff member OR INDE- PENDENT FAIR HEARING OFFICER so designated and authorized shall have authority to decide such appeals on behalf of the commissioner with the same force and effect as if the commissioner had made the decisions. Fair hearings held in connection with such appeals shall be held on behalf of the commissioner by members of his staff OR INDEPENDENT FAIR HEARING OFFICERS who are employed for such purposes or who have been designated and authorized by him therefor. THE FAIR HEARING MAY BE CONDUCTED BY MEANS OF A CONFERENCE TELEPHONE, VIDEO CONFERENCE EQUIPMENT OR SIMILAR COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT ALLOWING ALL PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN SUCH HEARING TO HEAR EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to fair hearings conducted pursuant to subdivision eight of section four hundred twenty-two of this chapter, and to any hearing required pursuant to this chapter concerning the denial, suspension or revocation of any permit, certificate or license, and to any hearing held pursuant to section four hundred fifty-five of this chapter. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately provided, however, that the commissioner may promulgate any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act before this act shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14711-01-2