Assembly Women Renew Call For 10-Point Agenda
Women members of the Assembly’s Democratic conference in a statement Thursday said they plan to push a renewed effort to pass the 10-point women’s agenda, a package of measures that stalled in 2013.
“As a New Year begins, we look forward to hearing Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address,” they said in a statement. “As we women of the Assembly Majority have watched state after state pass laws that affect women’s lives in a negative fashion, we feel deeply that it is of paramount importance that we work to ensure equality for the women of New York. We are proud to have voted in favor of the Governor’s full 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda, including the codification of Roe v. Wade. The most personal decisions a woman makes concern her health and reproductive choices. This is a most fundamental part of women’s equality.”
The Assembly approved an omnibus version of the legislation, but the Senate, led by a coalition of Republicans and independent Democrats, approved the measures in a piecemeal fashion, excluding the provision to codify Roe v. Wade in state law.
The new push comes after the Women’s Equality Coalition late last year announced a revamped campaign to back the agenda as well.
The Assembly has been rocked with a series of sexual harassment scandals over the last several months.
Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez resigned in May, and Assemblyman Micah Kellner was disciplined by Speaker Sheldon Silver for having suggestive online conversations with female staffers. Western New York Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak also faces sexual harassment complaints from multiple women, charges that first surfaced in December.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who originally introduced the women’s agenda package in his State of the State address last January, has not given an indication if he’ll make the package a centerpiece of his 2014 agenda.
Cuomo did call on both Kellner and Gabryszak to either resign or deny the allegations made against them.
More from the statement:
Each and every aspect of the Women’s Equality Act, which advances the Governor’s agenda, signifies an important step forward. Taken together, they signal real progress in the effort to improve the lives of women in New York State and change the gender inequality that the Governor dramatically pledged to eradicate in his State of the State message at the beginning of 2013.
We look forward to continuing to fight for the rights of women under New York State laws so that women are full participants in every aspect of civic life. We believe it is important to look at all of those barriers women face and to make sure we include issues such as access to affordable, high-quality child care, paid family leave and eldercare so that New York’s women and families have every opportunity for a dynamic future and we ensure greater equality for all New Yorkers.
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