State House Passes ERA, Supporters to Rally at Capitol on Int'l Women's Day
Friday, March 8, 2019
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A proposal to add an amendment to the Minnesota constitution guaranteeing equal rights regardless of gender has cleared the state House and now moves on to the Senate for consideration.
House File 13, sponsored by New Brighton Democrat Mary Kunesh-Podein, states, "Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender."
Ann Hill, chair of the government relations committee for the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, says the time to codify equal rights has arrived. MAPE supports the amendment.
"When women do better, the whole community does better,” Hill states. “Everyone does better. And when women have opportunities, everybody gets more opportunities."
Similar proposals have died in previous sessions, but HF 13 has gained momentum under the new Democratic House majority.
Supporters are planning a rally at the State Capitol on Friday, International Women's Rights Day.
Opponents of the ERA say an amendment is not necessary to guarantee equal rights, and some conservative groups maintain it could create a right to abortion on demand and infringe on states' rights.
Hill points out that without amending the state's constitution, legal protections already on the books for women, including the Minnesota Human Rights Act and Title IX, could be reversed by the state Legislature.
"We'll continue to talk about women being equal 200 more years from now if this is not made a part of our constitution, that women are explicitly identified in our constitution as equal," she states.
Twenty-four state constitutions currently include ERA amendments or language.
HF 13 is expected to move to the Senate on Friday.
If the measure makes it onto the 2020 ballot and a majority vote "Yes," it would become an amendment to the state constitution.
Voters who skip over the question would be considered a "No" vote.
get more stories like this via email
Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…
With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …
Health and Wellness
COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of …
Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …
Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …
A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …
Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …
Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …