Well, this session has certainly been keeping us on our toes!
The Capitol was rocked yet again this week by the arrest of the Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on federal corruption charges. After a 3 hour Republican conference on Monday night, there was a “consensus” to keep Senator Skelos as Majority Leader. However, by Wednesday, there were four Republican Senators calling for Mr. Skelos to step down. With the Senate out for the next few days, it remains to be seen if Mr. Skelos can continue under this cloud to maintain his leadership position.
On Wednesday, the League sat in the Senate gallery to observe Senate Democrats’ attempt to suspend the chamber’s rules in an effort to hold a vote on a resolution that would remove Senator Skelos from his leadership position. The exchange was a bit dramatic, but ultimately the Senate Democrats were unsuccessful in securing a vote on the resolution, leading them to walk out of the chamber. Earlier Wednesday morning, Barbara Bartoletti was featured, along with Blair Horner from NYPIRG, on Capitol Pressroom for a timely discussion on ethics and campaign finance reform. You can listen to their radio interview here.
We were delighted to see the Assembly pass 3 additional WEA bills this week, 2 of which (Sexual Harassment and Pregnancy Accommodation) also passed the Senate earlier this session. This means a total of 5 WEA bills are headed to the Governor’s office for signing! We will, of course, continue our advocacy work around women’s issues during the remaining weeks of session. To read our memos on the bills that passed the Assembly this week, click here (re: familial status), here (re: pregnancy accommodation) and here (re: sexual harassment).
With so much still up in the air, next week will likely be another interesting one, so be sure to check back in!