Legislative Leaders Honor Women’s Equality Day By Working to Ensure Equal Access to Essential Health Care
Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver today announced that the Legislature will vote next month to override the Governor’s veto of legislation that would fund women’s health clinics across the state.
Senate President Sweeney has set the Senate’s override vote for September 20. Under legislative rules, the first override vote must take place in the house in which a vetoed bill originated.
Speaker Oliver said if the Senate vote is successful, the Assembly will vote on Sept 30.
The leaders timed their announcement to coincide with Women’s Equality Day, the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. They noted that without state funding, many women’s health centers would be forced to close, cutting equal access to basic health care and cancer screenings to roughly 140,000 New Jersey women.
“We should be celebrating the day women were finally given equal access to the power of the ballot, not still debating whether women in New Jersey should have equal access to health care,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “In June, a veto-proof majority of Senators spoke loud and clear that women’s health matters. Now, a few of those voices are silent for fear of going against the Governor. But we will not stop fighting for something that is right. The Senate will take up an override vote, and I look forward to joining with my colleagues in making the case that women’s health matters for all New Jerseyans, and that this veto should be overridden.”
“On this important milestone, there is cause for celebration when you view the great strides women have historically made towards equality,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “However, in Chris Christie’s New Jersey, women and their health care needs have been relegated to 19th century standards of equality. I continue to maintain hope that our colleagues across the aisle will recognize the degree of damage done by the Governor’s veto and join us in standing up for women’s health. Should the Senate succeed in overriding the Governor’s veto first, I am prepared to schedule an override vote in the Assembly for September 30.”