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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Assemblywoman Jane Corwin issued a press release this morning calling on the Assembly leadership to allow for a vote on a slate of women's equality bills.

Corwin had been part of a press conference this morning asking Speaker Sheldon Silver to allow for an up-or-down vote on the bills, which passed the state Senate unanimously on Monday.

Corwin's press release follows below in its entirety.
Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R,C,I-Clarence) joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb and members of the Assembly Minority Conference at a press conference today calling on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to allow the individual points of the Women’s Equality Act to come up for a vote. Yesterday, the bills were passed individually in the state Senate.

“Last year, despite bipartisan and widespread support for passing these bills individually, the Speaker decided to play politics and not allow the bills to be voted on their own merits. They would have passed, and because they had already passed in the Senate, they would be in law today if he had put partisanship aside,” said Corwin, who has been a leading advocate for passing the bills individually. “We – the people of New York, particularly the women and children of this state – need him to finally do the right thing: allow these bills to come up for a vote one by one.”

Corwin was one of the stronger supporters for the Women’s Equality Agenda, a nine-point legislative plan supported by the Assembly Minority Conference. Senate versions of these individual bills passed with broad support in the state Senate in 2014, omitting the controversial tenth bill regarding abortion. Eight bills were passed again by the Senate yesterday, arguably the first major legislative act of the Republican-led Senate.

With near universal support in the legislature, Corwin and her colleagues have renewed their calls that the Speaker allow the bills to be voted on individually. The bills would strengthen federal mandates requiring equal pay for equal work; prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace; curb discrimination for victims of domestic violence; end discrimination based on familial status; prohibit housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence; improve process for obtaining orders of protection; stop human trafficking; and increase workplace protections for women during pregnancy and with other post-pregnancy conditions.

“It has been clear from the beginning that the issue of Women’s Equality has been nothing more than a political ploy – but it does not have to be. With the elections behind him, there is no reason for the Speaker to continue denying the women and children of our state these protections and rights. I strongly encourage him to allow the bills to come up for a vote – and call on all members of his conference and party to use their influence and convince him to do the right thing,” said Corwin.

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