State Senator Joe Robach will try again this week to move a bill he sponsored to explicitly prohibit housing discrimination against domestic-violence victims, despite what he says are efforts by Democrats controlling the chamber's majority to keep the bill off the floor.
"I think you have to ask them why they didn't think this was necessary," Robach told me. The implication is that it has something to do with the fact that Democratic Senator Hiram Monserrate is under indictment for allegedly assaulting a female companion.
Robach's bill currently sits before the Finance Committee, having been referred from the Investigations Committee on April 21. Robach tried unsuccessfully to have the bill discharged from committee. When that attempt failed, he tried to amend another bill sponsored by Eric Adams that would help preserve anonymity of domestic violence victims by allowing the secretary of state to accept mail on their behalf. The amendment failed.
"It looks like, despite the logic and the application, unlike some of the other motions to discharge, where the Democrats have actually supported them, despite the need and the logic and the merits behind them, they said it wasn't germane," Robach said. He told Joe Spector it showed an "arrogance" toward domestic violence victims.
Travis Proulx, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, said Robach's motion to discharge came after a required deadline, and that his amendment couldn't be considered because it dealt with a different section of law than the Adams bill.
"We will consider all proposed pieces of legislation," he said.
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