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Tuesday, January 13, 2015
State Sen. Robert Ortt is sworn in during a ceremony in Albany on Thursday. The Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York, administered the oath as Ortt was flanked by family, friends, and colleagues. Monday, Ortt voted in favor of eight women's equality bills that came before the Senate. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)


Eight bills aimed at women's equality passed the New York State Senate on Monday.

The bills dealt with human trafficking, equal pay, sexual harassment, workplace gender discrimination, housing and credit decisions, workplace accommodations for pregnant women, and protections for victims of domestic violence.

While all bills were passed unanimously, some Senate Democrats said their "aye" votes were cast begrudgingly because they felt the bills didn't go far enough. They were also upset that legislation that would support Roe v. Wade never made it to the Senate floor.

Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, explained his support of the package via a press release Monday night:

"Today, the State Senate passed a comprehensive women's equality package that will protect women from violence and harassment, prevent discrimination, and ensure pay equity," Ortt said. "It will protect and empower women in our homes, professions, and communities – which is why I'm calling on the Assembly Majority and the Governor to follow our lead and pass this critical legislation into law. Having served with many brave female soldiers, and owing so much of my personal achievements to inspiring females such as my mother and my wife, this issue is personal for me."

Albany insiders expect the platform to get a lukewarm response from the Democratic-led Assembly for the same reason Senate Democrats grumbled while voting "yes."

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