The District of Columbia voting rights amendment received another setback yesterday when a committee of the North Dakota legislature recommended that consideration of a ratification resolution be postponed indefinitely.
The 6-to-1 vote by the state's Senate Judiciary Committee is not binding, and the full Senate will vote on the resolution Friday.
State Sen. Ernest Sands, a Republican, said he and others who voted in the majority believe "there are alternatives" to a constitutional amendment for giving District residents voting representation in Congress. Among them, Sands said, are retroceding the District to Maryland, or full statehood for the nation's capital.
Reprocession would require approval of Maryland, whose elected officials have said they oppose it. Statehood would require action by voters in the District and approval by Congress.
Republicans control both houses of the North Dakota legislature, and the committee that voted yesterday was composed of five Republicans and two Democrats, with one of the latter casting the only pro-D.C. vote.
In Missouri yesterday, a legislative committee on constitutional amendments heard witnesses on the D.C. proposal, including Eldridge Spearman, press secretary to D.C. Del. Water E. Fauntroy.
Democrats control both houses of the Missouri legislature, but Democratic Gov. Joseph Teasdale announced last fall that he opposes ratification of the D.C. amendment.
Teasdale said he was reacting to the endorsement by then-District mayor Walter E. Washington of a convention boycott of Missouri and other states that had not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment.