The opportunity to check in with legislators this past weekend in Puerto Rico was exciting, since it was the first time many of them had been together ( at least publicly ) since June. It was also a good time to preview the upcoming session and get a sense of what people’s priorities are for 2014 session. But sometimes when I get eager to hear all about what’s new, I am often brought back down to earth fairly quickly when I learn that not all that much has changed. For example, the same strident positions on Women’s Equality remain entrenched among the various members who ensured that it went down in flames in the final weeks of the session.

Some of us have been getting press releases again from the coalition of women’s groups who pushed for the ten point plan first outlined by Governor Cuomo in his 2013 State of the State. But to recap not-so-ancient history, that coalition fractured in those final, moist June days as people split on whether or not to pass the bills separately or keep them all as one package. The abortion component was a killer for some on the right who felt abortions are pretty easily accessible in New York State, and there is no need to clarify anything. Moreover, Republicans and even some Democrats in Conservative districts who felt ramrodded by the gun control legislation early in the session, were not eager to explain why they were compromising on yet another litmus test issue for people who consider themselves conservative by nature.

Supporters have a very different view. They believe New York’s law is antiquated and needs an update. While New York State was a pioneer in the 20th century on issues such as this one and even civil rights, many state have since caught up or even surpassed the Empire State which helps explain why a reboot is needed on some of those once landmark laws.

But if there was any room to bridge the gap, it seemed pretty clear talking to Speaker Silver that there is none. He said,

“We look forward to passing all ten items. We will not take the watered down version and pass them individually.”

Some members are concerned that a handful of very solid bills that will improve the lives of women could end up on the cutting room floor because of this position. Democrat Amy Paulin ( D-Scarsdale ), who has been a big proponent of the human trafficking bill ( which is one of the ten ) said,

“It’s my point of view that we are going to be reviewing the the bills and getting what we can get done for women in 2014.”

So, once again, we see the seeds of disagreement among supporters of the agenda which could very well derail it, particularly when opponents are united in passing some but not all. Asked about any progress on the WEA in Albany earlier this month, Governor Cuomo summed it up when he said,

“Eaaaaaaaahhh…not so much.”

Yeah, that was sorta my takeaway this past weekend also.