The Women's Equality Act was put on the floor today in the Assembly chamber. The controversial, ten point piece of legislation would end inequality and discrimination based on gender, among other items, and would codify federal abortion law in New York. It's this last provision that has many Republicans upset, who are calling it an expansion of abortion in the state. Unlike the Senate which divided the piece of legislation into ten separate pieces, the Assembly voted on it as an omnibus bill.
Several GOP members explained why they were voting against it. Hudson Valley Assemblyman Steve Katz was cut off by temporary Speaker Jeff Aubry after he started to criticize Sheldon Silver, who agreed to the settlement given to former employees of now ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez in a sexual harassment case. Buffalo-area member David DiPietro broke down at the end of his floor speech on why he was voting against the bill.
The measure passed easily in the chamber 97-47.