Last week, state lawmakers held a rare joint hearing on how to update laws to address sexual harassment in the workplace.

The hearing started early in the morning and went late into the night. And now a package of ten bills to address the issues it raised is advancing.

“Of course we have bills to extend the timeframe that victims can file these claims, the statute of limitations they can file in court, how we defend these actions as employers. There are a host of bills,” said Queens Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas.

But perhaps the biggest proposed change is an end to what is known as the “severe or pervasive” standard. That means harassment must meet either of those thresholds to be validated by the state.

Governor Cuomo has endorsed eliminating the standard.

During the hearing it was revealed that the city eliminated that same standard years ago, but the state has not.

“It is not surprising that New York City took the initiative first,” State Senator for the Bronx Alessandra Biaggi said. “New York City leads on a lot of things. It is a little bit surprising that it was ten years ago, when I learned that fact.”

After the state was caught somewhat  flat-footed last week, Governor Cuomo’s top aide wrote an Op-Ed column which concluded of the hearings: “Conversations are important; action is better.”

That language offended some advocates who felt hearings were helpful in airing the scope of the problem.

“The hearings are a form of action because listening is a form of action,” Biaggi said. “When we listen to the people testifying, and we listen to our government officials and we listen to individuals who have suffered through sexual harassment in the workplace, we are actually able to learn and identify the gaps.”

Cuomo’s embrace of eliminating the “severe or pervasive” standard stands in stark contrast to his position last year, that he and legislative leaders enacted the toughest sexual harassment laws in the nation through legislation. It’s unclear if this year’s bills will move as a package or individually.