- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to advocate a package of bills intended to advance women’s rights in New York including a provision to codify abortion rights established by federal courts.

The Republican-controlled State Senate last week unanimously passed all the other individual bills from the package.

They are intended to more clearly guarantee equal pay, require workplace accommodations for pregnancy, outlaw sexual harassment at even the smallest businesses, which are currently exempt, and increase penalties for slave labor and sex trafficking.

Critics of Albany politics say those bills and the women they could help have been held hostage in a three-year standoff between the Democratic governor and Assembly insisting on the package and Republican opposition to the abortion provision.

Cuomo’s budget says he “remains deeply committed” to advancing the comprehensive package.

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