Equal Rights Amendment Passes Illinois Senate

Apr 12, 2018

Credit Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The new bipartisan Illinois Senate Women’s Caucus threw its  support behind the Equal Rights Amendment helping it win approval in that chamber. But, not all women are on board. 

Decades have passed since the congressional deadline needed for national ratification. Though some advocates say it’s still worth fighting for, the measure earned a ‘no’ vote from 12 republican senators-- all of them men plus state Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy). She said it’s redundant legislation.

“If we don’t enforce what we have in place, I don’t know how they think that it’s going to be changed like a constitutional amendment which I think is a very serious infraction and more importantly, I think the whole issue is fairly moot,” said Tracy. 

Illinois has similar language included in the state constitution, but Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) said these protections are needed nationwide.

“We all have family and friends in other states who don’t have this protection," said McConnaughhay. "It’s good that Illinois already has this, but I think it’s an important distinction that should be across our entire country.”

It’s unclear if approval will result in any legal changes, but supporters are still pushing.  The Illinois Senate voted to ratify in 2014, but it died in the House. This time, the chief sponsor is optimistic it can pass.