Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the ugly sexual harassment scandal surrounding Assemblyman Vito Lopez is the perfect example of why legislators need to pass his 10-point women's agenda.
“I think it would be the height of hypocrisy for a body that just recognized the problem up close and personal within their own colleagues and to not take action,” Cuomo told reporters yesterday.
Cuomo has yet to issue a bill encapsulating all 10 points of the agenda, but it is known to include stiffer penalties for sexual harassment; anti-human trafficking measures; pay equality laws; and a more controversial provision that would encode a women's right to an abortion in state health law rather than in the criminal code.
Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters echoed Cuomo's sentiments earlier yesterday. "If anyone should be the poster boy for the women's agenda legislation Vito Lopez is it," Bartoletti said.
Bartoletti wants legislators back in Albany next week ready to pass the women's legislation as well as campaign finance reform. Otherwise she said all they will have from this session is "a legacy of scandal."...