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Women's Equality Act Likely To Resurface on N.Y. 2015 Legislative Agenda

January 7, 2015 — The New York Legislature in the 2015 session is expected to again consider Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) Women's Equality Act, which failed to pass in its entirety in previous sessions, the Buffalo News reports (Precious, Buffalo News, 1/5).

Background

The 10-point measure includes bills covering issues such as human trafficking, reproductive rights, sexual harassment, pay equity, protective orders for women and abortion access (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/12/14).

The state Senate last session passed some bills from the package, including measures that would have addressed employment and housing discrimination, equal pay, and sexual harassment, but many state senators objected to the abortion-rights measure. Meanwhile, Assembly Democrats wanted the package to be considered in its entirety and not as separate bills (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/24/14).

Outlook for 2015

Heading into the 2015 session, state Senate Republicans, who hold the majority in the chamber, have said they will support nine out of the 10 measures in the Women's Equality Act, including equal pay measures and new protections for domestic violence survivors. However, they said they do not intend to address the abortion measure (Buffalo News, 1/5).

Meanwhile, Democrats outnumber Republicans by two to one in the Assembly this session, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports.

Cuomo will outline his agenda for 2015 during his State of the State speech on Jan. 21 (Campbell, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 1/3).