Minnesota and Massachusetts yesterday became the fourth and fifth states to ratify the proposed District votings rights amendment.
The actions in St. Paul and Boston snapped a string of six consecutive rejections by other state legislatures this year of the proposal which would give the District two senators and one or more members in the House of Representatives.
The box score now stands at five ratifications and eight rejections since the measure passed Congress last summer.
The victories in Minnesota and Massachusetts were achieved without direct lobbying by District residents.
D.C. Del. Walter Walter E. Fauntroy has said that one reason the drive has failed in other states is that the burden for pushing the proposal fell on him and other local supporters, rather than influential persons in those states.
Fauntroy and City Council member Betty Ann Kane testified before a committee of the California Assembly yesterday in Sacramento.
Melanie Woolston, a staff member of the Ratification Campaign Committee, said "the diligence of the sponsors" resulted in the 37-to-29 vote in the Minnesota Senate and "the weight and influence" of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), was a key in the 78-to-76 margin in the Massachusetts House. Earlier this month, the resolution had passed the Minnesota House by 68 to 66 and the Massachusetts Senate by 24 to 13.
Kennedy, who was a prime supporter in Congress, testified in behalf of the measure in Boston last month. He said yesterday that "the same strenuous effort will be needed" elsewhere. If that happens, Kennedy said he is "confident [other legislators] will put aside ideological, regional and other similar considerations and do what is right for their fellow 700,000 Americans who live in the District."
Vice President Walter F. Mondale praising the action of his home state, said: "By its action today, the Minnesota legislature, in a bipartisan fashion, has recognized the importance of extending to residents of the District of Columbia this fundamental right enjoyed by all other Americans." during the two hours of debate in St.
One of the proponents who spoke Paul was State Sen. Hubert H. (Skip) Humphrey III. He quoted his late father's speech before the 1948 Democratic convention, in which Humphrey urged delegates to "walk out of the shadow of states' rights... into the bright sunshine of human rights."
The chief sponsor in the Minnesota Senate, B. Robert Lewis, a Democrat Farmer-Labor member from suburban Minneapolis, told his colleagues, "The issue is one of simple justice." Lewis, the only black in the Minnesota Senate, said he was pleased that the resolution got some bipartisan support, although only 4 of the chamber's 20 Republicans voted for it.
New Jersey, Ohio and Michigan previously had ratified the proposal. Legislatures in Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Carolina, Idaho, Maryland and New Mexico, in that order, have voted against ratification.
For the resolution to become law, 38 legislatures must approve it by the summer of 1985.