Women’s groups say they have not given up on abortion rights bill passing in the final days of the session, now that Governor Cuomo has introduced the Women’s Equality Act as 10 separate bills.
Tracey Brooks, with Family Planning Advocates, says women’s groups are asking Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos to bring the abortion rights measure to the floor as a stand alone bill. Brooks says Skelos, pledged two years ago to allow what’s known as a vote of conscience on social issues where Senators are divided.
There were several arrests at the state Capitol Tuesday. Advocates took out their anger and frustration on Cuomo and leaders of the State Senate, after it became clear that a progressive agenda that includes abortion rights and public campaign financing are likely dead for the legislative session.
Government reform groups are angry at Governor Cuomo, saying he is giving up too soon on an anti corruption agenda that includes public financing of campaigns and greater prosecution powers for the state’s District Attorneys. Susan Lerner is with Common Cause.
There’s three days left in the legislative session, and chances are dimming for a settlement on an abortion rights provision in a women’s equality act, and for reform of campaign financing and other anti-corruption measures. Meanwhile, a new poll finds the public increasingly dissatisfied.
As the session winds down, it seems that two of the governor’s top agenda items are doomed in the State Senate.
There are only four days left in the legislative session, and so far no agreements have been reached between Governor Cuomo and the legislature on major issues like campaign finance reform or a women’s equality act.
Deals are often forged in the final days of the session, but Governor Cuomo has already admitted he might have to accept compromises on at least two of his top priorities- enacting public financing of political campaigns and an abortion rights provision in a 10 point women’s equality act.
Members of the legislature’s Black and Hispanic caucus and their allies made a last minute push for a bill to decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying current laws unfairly target young black and Latino men.
Assemblyman Karim Camara, who chairs the caucus, says the bill to decriminalize public possession of small amounts of marijuana is needed partly to fix an ongoing problem with the New York City Police Department’s Stop and Frisk policy. He and other supporters gathered outside the Senate chamber, to call for a vote.