Bill Text: NY S05598 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended

Bill Title: Authorizes the attorney general to bring an action to enjoin unfair practices of proprietary institutions of higher education; defines unlawful unfair acts or practices.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-20 - COMMITTED TO RULES [S05598 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05598-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK

            Cal. No. 691

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                       May 8, 2019

        Introduced  by  Sen.  THOMAS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Consumer  Protection  --
          reported  favorably  from  said committee, ordered to first and second
          report, ordered to a third reading,  amended  and  ordered  reprinted,
          retaining its place in the order of third reading

        AN  ACT  to  amend the general business law, in relation to unfair prac-
          tices of proprietary institutions of higher education

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
     2  349-f to read as follows:
     3    § 349-f. Proprietary institutions of higher education; unlawful unfair
     4  practices.  1.  For  purposes of this section, "proprietary institution"
     5  shall be defined  as  any  licensed  private  career  school,  certified
     6  English  as a Second Language school, or online education marketplace as
     7  defined in article one hundred one of the education law, or a for-profit
     8  degree-granting institution  approved  pursuant  to  the  department  of
     9  education,  including  any  such institution with a physical presence in
    10  the state or enrolling New York state students  in  an  online  distance
    11  education program.
    12    2.  In addition to the protections afforded to consumers in this arti-
    13  cle for students that are attending or at one time attended  a  proprie-
    14  tary  institution in this state, the attorney general whenever he or she
    15  believes from evidence satisfactory to him or her that  any  proprietary
    16  institution  or agent or employee thereof has engaged in any of the acts
    17  or practices deemed to be unfair under this section, the attorney gener-
    18  al may bring an action in the name and on behalf of the  people  of  the
    19  state of New York to enjoin such unfair acts or practices, obtain resti-
    20  tution  of any moneys or property obtained directly or indirectly by any
    21  such unfair  acts  or  practices,  and/or  obtain  civil  penalties  for

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 5598--A                          2

     1  violations  of  this section.   In such action preliminary relief may be
     2  granted under article sixty-three of the civil practice law and rules.
     3    3. An act or practice shall be deemed unfair under this section if:
     4    (a)  it  causes  or  is likely to cause substantial injury to students
     5  that are attending or at one time  attended  a  proprietary  institution
     6  that  cannot  be reasonably avoided by students that are attending or at
     7  one time attended a proprietary institution; or
     8    (b) it is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to  students  that
     9  are  attending  or at one time attended a proprietary institution, or to
    10  competition.
    11    4. Nothing in this section shall supersede, amend or repeal any  other
    12  law of this state under which the attorney general is authorized to take
    13  any action or conduct any inquiry.
    14    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.