Governor Andrew Cuomo is lowering expectations for the end of the legislative session this week, as it seems two of his major initiatives — a women's equality agenda and an anti-corruption act — could be headed for failure. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is now prepared to let his 10-point Women's Equality Act fail, if Republicans try and take out the controversial 10th point, which deals with abortion.
"We have 850 women's groups who put this all together and they are in solidarity that if we don't get the choice vote, they don't want the nine. And I am standing with them," Cuomo said on an interview with WCNY-AM.
Sources close to Cuomo have said that this is not his ideal route, with the governor preferring to pass the best bill he can get. But once abortion became a political football, both sides dug in their heels, dooming the bill.
Women's groups are blaming the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference and its leader, Jeff Klein, who controls the senate in coalition with Republicans.
"If Jeff Klein fails to do this, he is an anti-choice politician who is aiding and abetting the most extreme members of the Legislature," said Andrea Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice.
But not all Democrats support the abortion provision.
"We are all about getting votes. The magic number in the senate is 32. If we had 32 votes, we wouldn't be having this conversation, we would have passed the bill six months ago," Klein said.
The governor is also ready to give up hope on an anti-corruption package, which included publicly financed campaigns. He is threatening to use an investigative Moreland commission to force change.
"I'm not going to do a half-baked bill. The Moreland is the strongest thing I can do. And we've talked about it before, and we have come up with alternatives. I don't think we are going to come up with an alternative, and that's fine by me," Cuomo said on WCNY-AM.
"Well, I think that's premature. We are in the last days and we have tremendous opportunity," said Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Both campaign finance reform and the women's equality agenda were two of the major initiatives outlined by Cuomo in his agenda-setting State Of The State speech in January. On Monday, he conceded that neither will get done.