Albany, NY – On Tuesday, May 20th, Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF – 35th District) and members of the Senate Democratic Conference joined women’s rights advocates to call on the Senate Republican Coalition to pass the full Women’s Equality Act (WEA). Despite being passed twice in the State Assembly, the full Women’s Equality Act has not been brought before the Senate for a vote.
“The women of New York deserve a vote on the entire Women’s Equality Act and have a right to know where their elected officials stand on these important issues,” Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Women’s health and equality should not be a Republican or Democratic issue. I urge my colleagues in the Senate Republican/IDC Coalition to drop their opposition to the full, omnibus Women’s Equality Act and allow this initiative to the floor for a vote.”
The Women’s Equality Act was initially introduced as an omnibus Governor’s Program Bill and introduced in the State Assembly where it was passed before the end of the 2013 Legislative Session and again at the beginning of the 2014 session. The Senate Republican/IDC Coalition leadership refused to bring the full Women’s Equality Act to the floor for a vote, and failed to introduce this legislation as a single initiative, instead splitting the WEA up into ten separate bills.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced the omnibus Women’s Equality Act as a response to the fact that the Assembly-passed initiative has been stalled in the Senate Rules Committee. Democratic Leader Stewart-Cousins also issued a letter to the Senate Coalition Leaders urging immediate action on the full Women’s Equality Act.
The Women’s Equality Act will:
- Protect a Woman’s Freedom of Choice
- Achieve Pay Equity
- Stop Sexual Harassment in All Workplaces
- Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Cases
- Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws
- End Family Status Discrimination
- Stop Source-of-Income Discrimination
- Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Stop Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All
- Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Laws