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Gov. Cuomo finally released the legislation for his 10-point women's equality plan yesterday. The Senate poses the biggest hurdle for the act, due to the abortion measure. A spokesperson for the Senate Republican leader said the GOP could come to an agreement on all nine other measures, but they don't plan to bring the abortion part of the act up for a vote. Cuomo says he's unwilling to sever that provision from the other parts of the bill. Business interests also raised concerns that the legislation pose the risk of unnecessary legal action against employers.
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Email: Harassment Victims Wanted Full Investigation By Assembly (Daily News)
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is weathering criticism for his handling of recently-resigned Assemblyman Vito Lopez's harassment suit. In response, he's announced plans to create an independent investigator for sexual harassment complaints and mandatory reporting of them. Many are calling for the speaker's resignation, including one Assemblyman who threatened to leave the Democratic conference if he didn't step down. Silver has apologized for authorizing a secret settlement in Lopez's harassment suit, but says resignation is "ridiculous." The scandal may have weakened his bargaining power, but he has a strong grasp on power in the state. Gov. Cuomo has reportedly decided not to call a special election to replace Lopez to keep him from wielding influence over his successor. The governor also says the harassment scandal proves the need for passage of his women's agenda.
NYPD To Step Up Presence Following Anti-Gay Murder (Wall Street Journal)
Judge Criticizes ‘High Error Rate’ Of Police Stops (NY Times)
NYPD Messages To Muslim Informant: 'Get Pictures' (Associated Press)
In response to criticism of its initially limited investigation into the sexual harassment scandal, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has expanded its probe beyond Assemblyman Vito Lopez to include Assembly Speaker Silver, Attorney General Schneiderman and Comptroller DiNapoli. The decision was made in private as prescribed by law and gleaned from the subjects of the investigation. But board members wanted to publicly counter claims that there were attempts to block certain investigations. Gov. Cuomo has said he is open to some changes in the board and also said he'd form his own commission to probe the matter if the board fails.
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The Joint Commission on Public Ethics may be considering an expansion of their probe into Assemblyman Vito Lopez's sexual harassment suit. Ravi Batra, a member of the commission, quit over the weekend, claiming the board had no independence. He also said good government groups were more concerned with Albany access than real reform. The attorney general and comptroller have been playing down their roles in the settlement. Also, a new accuser - who is also a candidate for State Senate - says she was the victim of sexual harassment when she worked in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
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