Cuomo Meets With Advocacy Groups To Build Support For Women’s Equality Measure
A day after his third State of the State address that outlined a plan for women’s equality issues ranging from a strengthening of reproductive rights laws to pay equity, Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with representatives of advocacy groups on the issue and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins.
Included in the meeting was Tracey Brooks of Family Planning Advocates of NY and Andrea Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, along with a about a dozen or so other groups and Stewart-Cousins, the first female leader of a legislative conference in Albany.
Cuomo indicated after the meeting that he would use the coalition in order to build support for the measure, similar to his push for same-sex marriage in 2011.
“We had intended to bring the groups together before the speech,” Cuomo said. “The State of the State lays out a plan, we wanted to pass a womens equality agenda, we wanted to pass a campaign finance reform, we want to pass minimum wage. now we have to put together an effort to communicate on each one of those issues. to come up with a strategy and then we’ll roll that out across the state because the equation is always the same: If I stick to this dicussion in this room, we lose.”
Still, it remains unclear how that campaign for women’s equality will play out, especially in the new-look Senate that’s ruled by a Majority Coalition of Republicans and five Democrats in an independent conference, including Sen. Diane Savino, an outspoken backer of reproductive rights.
Republicans in the Senate have opposed pay equity measures for being too onerous on businesses.
Cuomo said there’s new hope though for those measures given the new coalition (this isn’t the first time Cuomo has raised the status of the Independent Democratic Conference. He’s met with them on gun control, a move that was meant to apply some public pressure on Republican Leader Dean Skelos).
“There’s no doubt that the Senate by its make up that the Senate is more favorable to these issues — specifically a woman’s right to choose,” Cuomo said. “But there’s also no doubt there’s an uphill battle. You need a couple of Republican votes by anyone’s count and no one has identified them at this time. So it’s a difficult vote. It looks better than it has in the past, but it’s still very difficult.”
Still, a robust reproductive rights measure will be opposed by the state’s Catholic Church, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan already issuing concerns over the idea.
But Cuomo, a practicing Catholic, says his stances have collided before the church, most notably same-sex marriage.
“I don’t believe that abortion is ever the preferred option,” Cuomo said. “That’s a different discussion than who should make the decision and a woman’s right to choose which I hold adamantly. But adoption alternatives are obviously preferable. The Church, I respect their opinion, I respect their rulings, it’s a very important institution in this state, to me personally. I’m happy when we agree, I wish we could agree on everything. That’s not the way the world works.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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