The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Piecemeal equality in the Senate

Separate portions of the women's equality act are being introduced as 10 standalone bills in the state Senate.

The latest alternative to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's take em' or leave 'em 10-point Women's Equality Act and the Senate Independent Democratic Conference's Working Women's Agenda, is a collection of the proposals that will stand by themselves. This latest gambit, though, sides with Cuomo's agenda, because it includes a reproductive rights bill from IDC member Diane Savino.

A copy of the reproductive rights bill will be available shortly.

Cuomo appears to be on board with this tactic, saying in a statement that he called on "the leadership and members of both houses to introduce and pass all 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act."

"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," he said in a statement. "New York is the last place where women’s rights should be held back; it is the place where they must move forward.”

Senate Republicans, who are part of a majority coalition with members of the IDC, said they're still opposed to even allowing a vote on the reproductive rights bill.

"Our position has not changed," said Senate Republican spokeswoman Kelly Cummings in a statement. "We expect to pass 9 of the 10 elements of the governor's women's equality agenda, however, we continue to oppose bringing the abortion provision to the floor."

Companion legislation doesn't exist in the Assembly.

If a vote doesn't happen on the reproductive rights bill, the big loser will be the IDC, which will have demonstrated its true strength (or lack of) in the majority coalition.

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