The 2014 legislative session ended this summer with little action on some of RJV’s priorities. At our Advocacy Day in May, we focused on the ten-pronged Women’s Equality Act, campaign finance reform, and an education tax credit for private and sectarian schools.
- Although there was not a major vote on the education tax credit, it will come back next session. Tax credits, like school vouchers imperil access to a top-notch public education for our state’s young people, while eroding the wall of separation between church and state. The Reform Movement has long opposed these efforts and RJV will continue to do so if this legislation comes up again. Read more.
- We continue to support the full Women’s Equality Act that was passed by the Assembly in January 2014. As a member of the Women’s Equality Coalition, alongside many other social justice organizations in New York State, we hope for renewed energy around this critical legislation next year. As Reform Jews, we believe firmly that all women are their own moral decision-makers, and ought to make their choices in their health and lives without interference or restrictive laws. In our Movement, we have long championed women’s equality in synagogue life and in public life. The Women’s Equality Act promotes those very values by ensuring rights and protections for women across a variety of issues, including full reproductive rights. Read more.
- As we move into election season, we are reminded of the importance of fair elections. For these reasons, RJV supported a campaign finance reform bill. Although it was not passed by the legislature, we take inspiration from our tradition to continue supporting reform. As Deuteronomy 16:19 teaches, “You shall not judge unfairly: you shall know no partiality; you shall not take gifts, for gifts blind the eyes of the discerning and upset the plea of the just.” Read more.