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Huntington supervisor candidate backed most, not all equality bills

New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci speaks at

New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci speaks at Farmingdale State College Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Credit: Barry Sloan

Assemb. Chad Lupinacci, the Republican candidate for Huntington town supervisor, is running advertisements touting his support for the New York State Women’s Equality Act, though voting records show he supported most but not all of the legislation.

In the ad, a woman says, “Thank you Chad Lupinacci for supporting the New York Women’s Equality Act and equal pay for equal work.” The ad is paid for and approved by Friends of Chad Lupinacci for Supervisor, the Republican’s campaign account.

The act actually included 10 proposals, nine of which had fairly broad bipartisan support. But the inclusion of an abortion-rights provision sparked many Republicans — including Lupinacci (R-Huntington Station) — to vote against it when it was brought to the Assembly floor in 2014. Along the same lines, the Republican-led Senate refused to vote on the proposal, killing it for the year.

The next year, when Democrats agreed to break the proposals into individual pieces of legislation, all but the abortion proposal won legislative approval. Records show Lupinacci voted against the abortion proposal. He voted for one of the related bills that called for prohibiting differential pay based on a person’s sex, though he twice voted against a separate measure that added race and national origin to the list of prohibitions, in addition to gender.

He voted in favor of eight bills related to the law, including toughening laws against human trafficking and easing the filing of domestic orders of protection.

“Chad Lupinacci voted every time to expand and protect the rights of millions of women in New York,” Huntington Town Republican Chairwoman Toni Tepe said in an email. “Any attempt to say otherwise is nothing but a desperate, made-up political attack based on false and intentionally misleading information with no basis in fact or reality.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was a strong backer of the original “Women’s Equality Act” and used it in his 2014 re-election campaign against Republican Rob Astorino, who called the push for the abortion proposal an election-year ploy. Cuomo eventually signed the other elements of the proposal into law, after the Legislature broke up the individual pieces and approved all but the abortion plank.

The equal pay bill was introduced in two versions. The one that addressed differential pay based on a person’s sex was approved; the one that added race and national origin to the list died in the Senate. It is not unlawful to determine pay by a legitimate seniority or merit system, performance evaluation system, geographic differences, or differences in training and experience.

The Lupinacci ad, shown on Facebook and television, also thanks the Republican for “leading the fight against Common Core,” obtaining “record” funding for Huntington schools and for his work on affordable housing issues.

With Yancey Roy

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