Nevada becomes 36th state to ratify ERA – 35 years after cutoff date
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada resolution ratifying Equal Rights Amendment for women is on its way to Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday — the 45th anniversary of the original congressional approval of the ERA — the Nevada Senate cleared the way for Senate Joint Resolution 2 with a technical amendment and the addition of the names of more than a dozen Assembly members to the resolution.
The resolution states it serves as “official notice” the proposed amendment has been ratified by the Nevada Legislature, effective Wednesday.
That makes Nevada the 36th state to ratify the ERA. It needs ratification from 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution.
“The ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Nevada is a milestone moment for women’s rights in our state and across the country,” said Marty McGarry, first vice chair of the state Democratic Party.
She credited Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, for her commitment to the effort. That effort, said Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, has been a priority for Spearman since she was first elected to the Nevada Legislature.
“The fact we are still having this conversation is very perturbing,” said Ford.
The resolution was approved by the Senate and Assembly of the Nevada Legislature on a party line vote with one exception in each house. Two Republican lawmakers broke ranks and backed the resolution: Heidi Gansert in the Senate and Jill Tolles in the Assembly, both representing districts in Reno.
Thirty-five states — including California — ratified the ERA by 1977. No others joined by a 1982 cutoff date.
Nine state legislatures have since reconsidered the amendment, but Nevada is the first to approve it after the deadline — on the Legislature’s seventh attempt in 45 years.
The resolution is being forwarded to Vice President Mike Pence as president of the U.S. Senate, as well as House speaker Paul Ryan. The measure doesn’t require Gov. Brian Sandoval’s signature. Sandoval, however, has said he supports it.