Illinois Lawmakers Ratify Equal Rights Amendment, Senate Passes Budget

Illinois Lawmakers Ratify Equal Rights Amendment, Senate Passes Budget

Illinois made history Wednesday after lawmakers voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex.

The Illinois House approved the amendment 72-45, making Illinois the 37th state to ratify the federal ERA which was first proposed in 1972. The Senate approved it 43-12 in April.

Ratification requires the assent of 38 states, and the move could mean the U.S. is only one state away from a landmark change to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women.

House Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) joins the Morning Shift to talk about the ratification of the ERA, which caps off her 40-year legislative career.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Senate passed a $38.5 billion state spending plan Wednesday, and as the midnight budget deadline looms, the House is expected to take up the measure Thursday.

The budget includes $172 million for the Obama Presidential Center and $53 million down payment on fixes to the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy, where 13 people died in recent years from outbreaks of Legionnaires disease.

Democrats and Republicans in Springfield have said they want to avoid confrontation and a showdown of the last budget cycle when lawmakers were at an impasse for two years, and they seem to be headed in that direction.