Senate, Assembly say no deal on 10-point women’s agenda

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The Senate and Assembly leadership rebuked a last-ditch attempt by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and women’s rights groups to break up a women’s equality agenda into 10 separate bills.

The goal by Cuomo and the groups is to force the Senate, controlled by Republicans and four-member Independent Democratic Conference, to have a vote on the controversial abortion piece of the package.

But Kelly Cummings, a spokeswoman for Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said the Senate plans to vote on the nine pieces of the agenda, not the abortion bill. The other pieces deal with women’s rights in the workplace and at home.

“Our position has not changed,” Cummings said. “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.”

Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said the Assembly will pass the 10-point package as one bill.

“There is no agreement to bring the bills up separately. We intend to pass
the 10 point women’s equality package as already planned,” Whyland said.

In a statement, Cuomo urged a vote on all 10 points of his plan, as separate bills – which he introduced tonight.

“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,” Cuomo said.

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