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Albany Approves Speed Cameras, But Not Women's Equality Agenda, As Legislative Session Ends

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Lawmakers in Albany wrapped up their legislative session with a flurry of last-minute activity, but they ultimately did not pass Governor Andrew Cuomo's women's equality agenda. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

During the final month of the legislative session, it was Governor Andrew Cuomo's women's equality agenda that dominated the debate.

In the end, lawmakers could not agree to pass the agenda.

The Assembly passed all 10 points of the agenda, including a controversial abortion provision. The Senate only passed nine, leaving out abortion.

"We are not going to abandon some of the women in order to have nine points that are actually nine watered-down points," said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, a Democrat from Queens. "We want all 10."

Pressure then mounted on the Assembly to pass nine in order to match the Senate version, something Democrats in the Assembly refused to do.

"I think that the Assembly should ashamed of themselves if they don't take up the other points of the women's agenda," said Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein.

The session was notable for what didn't get done. Legislation to create taxpayer-funded political campaigns also failed.

Legalized casino gambling, however, passed both houses, and will now go to voters in a referendum this fall.

"We're looking for capital investment. We're looking for revenue," said Howard Glazer, director of state operations. "End of the day, it means jobs, economic development and tourism, really for the upstate New York region, which needs it badly."

The state Senate passed a bill early Saturday morning allowing the city to install speed cameras in front of schools.

The cameras would be installed in areas where speeding has been a documented problem.

The measure now goes to Cuomo for his signature.

Cuts to the office for people with developmental disabilities, made to the state budget in March, were also restored.

"I had every legislator in the Assembly sponsor my bill," said Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg of Long Island. "The voice of the people were heard. We always say the Assembly is the people's house. The people's voice was heard."

Both houses also voted to bring back old-fashioned lever voting machines for this year's mayoral primary and potential runoff election.

Other items on the agenda this year include a tax-free New York program, also aimed primarily at upstate New York, and a reorganization of the Long Island Power Authority, which mostly affects Long Island residents, but also residents of the Rockaways in Queens.

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