Cuomo Sending Up 10 Separate Bills On Women’s Agenda (Updated)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo this evening is breaking up his 10-point women’s agenda and sending each item to the Legislature as separate program bills, a source familiar with the move confirmed this evening.
As the Associated Press first reported and CapTon confirmed this evening, Cuomo will split the women’s agenda into 10 separate pieces of legislation in an effort to get lawmakers to hold votes on each measure – including a controversial provision to update the state’s abortion laws by codifying Roe v. Wade.
The additional components in the agenda include anti-discrimination measures aimed at women in the workplace and housing, along with pay equity and an anti-human trafficking measure.
Senate Republicans had strongly resisted voting on the full women’s agenda if it included the abortion provision, but the ire of the coalition drawn together to boost the package had been focused in the last several days on IDC Leader Jeff Klein, the Senate co-president.
The Democratic-led Assembly has said it plans to hold a vote on the full package as a whole this week.
Klein, who supports abortion rights, introduced legislation over the weekend that included nine out of 10 measures, rejecting the abortion piece.
Cuomo’s decision to break the agenda into 10 separate pieces of legislation comes amid a whirlwind of last-minute activity at the Capitol as the legislative session winds down.
Deals were struck this evening on enabling legislation to expand casino gambling as well.
Lawmakers expect to stay through Friday to vote on remaining legislation.
It remains to be seen whether the abortion provision will have enough votes to pass in the Senate if a vote is actually held.
The women’s coalition this evening endorsed the move in the following statement, despite the fact that members have been insisting for weeks that they would accept nothing less than a full 10-point plan:
“The Women’s Equality Coalition’s main goal has always been to ensure that the full 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act become law.”
“We, therefore, call on the Senate leadership to allow a vote on all 10 components of the Women’s Equality Act, which the Governor has now also introduced as individual bills.”
“The Coalition, comprised of 850 business and women’s, labor, civil rights, health care and religious groups, continues to be unified in unwavering support for passing these measures this session.”
“We urge bipartisan support for this legislation that will, together, address the multiple and interconnected barriers women face. Passage will make an important difference in the lives of 10 million New York women, and reestablish our state as the leader New Yorkers and the nation expect it to be.”
“The Women’s Equality Coalition has consistently responded to legislators’ concerns about the WEA, changing the language on multiple parts of the bill, including Part J, which codifies Roe v. Wade.”
“We have now eliminated any final excuses by giving every legislator the opportunity to vote according to his or her conscience and their constituents’ needs and values.”
UPDATE: Cuomo’s office released bill language of the individual Women’s Equality Act measures last night shortly after 11 p.m., and then put out the following statement from the governor:
““In 1848, the women’s suffrage movement began in America at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.”
“Since then, New York has been at the forefront of important social and legal movements that have advanced the equal treatment of all people.”
“Today, I stand proudly in solidarity with the members of the 850 women’s advocacy groups, and call on the leadership and members of both houses to introduce and pass all 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act before the end of this legislative session.”
“Each and every one of these issues is vitally important to the future of women in our state, and New Yorkers deserve to know where their elected representatives stand on all of them. New York is the last place where women’s rights should be held back; it is the place where they must move forward.”
The Senate GOP spokeswoman also released a statement reiterating the conference’s position all along, which has been in support of nine of the 10 Women’s Equality Act proposals – in other words, all but the abortion plank, which the Republicans will not allow to come to the floor.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on June 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|