Illinois Senate approves federal Equal Rights Amendment — over 35 years after the deadline

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois has taken a step toward becoming the 37th state to ratify the 1972 federal Equal Rights Amendment.

The Senate voted 43-12 Wednesday on a resolution to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The constitutional amendment guarantees equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex. It needs 38 states to ratify to change the U.S. constitution. Illinois was one of 15 states not to ratify the amendment before a 1982 deadline.

Sen. Heather Steans is the sponsor of the resolution. The Chicago Democrat says the measure will not change Illinois law but will provide protections for women nationally. She adds that Congress has the power to consider the validity of state ratifications after the deadline.

The resolution now goes to the Illinois House.


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