The D.C. voting rights amendment moved forward in Minnesota and Rhode Island yesterday on the eve of today's crucial vote in the Maryland legislature.
The Minnesota House, by a vote of 68 to 66, approved the proposed constitutional amendment that would give the District of Columbia two senators and one or two members in the House of Representatives.
The vote in favor of ratification came on a motion to reconsider, after the measure had been rejected initially, also by a vote of 68 to 66. Two members of the Democrat Farmer Labor (DFL) party switched their votes the second time around in the House, which is equally divided between the DFL and Independent Republican parties.
The vote in St. Paul was praised by Vice President Mondale, a Minnesota native, who said he was "very pleased" with the action. Richard Moe, Mondale's chief of staff, sad the vice president had lobbied members of his home state's legislature in behalf of the amendment. Moe predicted that the Minnesota Senate would complete the ratification process next week.
The Maryland House of Delegates is scheduled to vote again today on a Senate-passed resolution of ratification. The House version fell one vote short of passage on two occasions last month.
Also yesterday, a committee of the Rhode Island Senate voted 11 to 6 to send the amendment to the floor for a vote.
Three states of the necessary 38 have voted for ratification since the proposed amendment was approved by Congress last summer.