Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein used a procedural method to force a vote on a measure to strengthen New York’s laws after a mysterious, six-hour delay to the chamber’s scheduled session.
Klein, D-Bronx, proposed a “hostile amendment” on the Senate floor—essentially trying to change a bill as its being put to debate—to introduce the abortion language. It’s an occasionally used but rarely successful strategy to bring an issue to a vote, and it’s the first time Klein has attempted it since becoming co-leader.
The provision would cement federal abortion rights into state law, ensuring abortion would still be legal in New York if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned.
“We … believe that those things (abortion rights) are something that New Yorkers sometimes take for granted, but they shouldn’t, Klein said in a statement.
Klein’s co-leader in the Senate, Republican Leader Dean Skelos, has vowed since January to block a vote on the abortion bill. Both Skelos and Klein have to agree to bring a bill to a vote under normal circumstances.
The Senate is currently debating the amendment. You can watch live below. UPDATE: The amendment was blocked when 32 senators voted it non-germane. Read more here.