Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was proposed in eight states in 2017: Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Missouri, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Illinois. On March 22, 2017– the 45th anniversary of Congress starting the ratification process in 1972– Nevada became the 36th state in the US to ratify the ERA.
To make the ERA the next amendment to the US Constitution, we need two more states to ratify it and the Congress to extend the deadline, which they have done before.
On the Floor of the Arizona House on Wednesday, when I announced the ERA’s success in Nevada, I said, “Arizona, I’m looking at you.”
Arizona women deserve equality and equal pay for equal work. We won’t get that until we pass the Equal Rights Amendment because the ERA puts teeth in the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The ERA has been proposed at least five times in the Arizona Legislature– first in 1972 by then Arizona Senate President Chief Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; three times (two ratification proposals, one deadline extension) by Rep. Victoria Steele; and this year jointly in the Senate and the House by Senator Martin Quezada and me.
In Arizona and Utah, the 2017 bills were never heard. My bill HCR2012 was assigned to the Judiciary Committee but never put on an agenda. Quezada’ ERA mirror bill was assigned to the Government Committee but never heard by the chair.
Along with other state legislators across the country, I will propose ratification of the ERA every year until it becomes law. I hope Arizona remembers its Progressive roots and helps add to finally add the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.