Recent Legislation

PAP bill passes Senate
July 15, 2010

The New York State Senate has passed a Professional Assistance Program (PAP) bill, S.5753-A, supported by NYSDA and sponsored by State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).

The bill intends to amend the education law to enhance access to the professional assistance program for impaired professionals. The program offers a confidential, non-punitive option for professionals impaired by alcohol or drugs to attain sobriety while protecting their professional licenses. The new law would enable the Professional Assistance Program to accept licensed professionals without having to surrender their licenses in appropriate situations.

Under existing law, any impaired professionals who wish to enroll in the PAP must first surrender his/her license to practice. This discourages professionals who are already in active treatment programs for their addictive illness and are fully capable of practicing in the interim from utilizing the PAP.

The bill would eliminate that barrier and allow the PAP the discretion to accept people into the program without having to require the surrender of a license. While the PAP could still require the surrender of a license, when appropriate, it enables the PAP to impose less drastic, more appropriate alternative dispositions if it determines that the health and safety of the public will be adequately protected.

The Assembly version of the same bill is A.8301-A, sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Broome), and is currently in the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Read more about NYSDA’s successful program aiding impaired dentists.