Last year, the state Senate approved the ERA with bipartisan support. But a House subcommittee controlled by Republicans killed the resolution, preventing it from going to the full committee for a vote.
Del. Jennifer D. Carroll Foy (D-Prince William), who sponsored the resolution, told the committee Tuesday that it would be historic for Virginia to become the 38th — and potentially final — state to ratify the amendment guaranteeing equal protection for women under the U.S. Constitution.
“There’s not many times that what we do here in this body, this committee, will be felt throughout this country,” Carroll Foy said.
Republicans on the committee questioned whether Virginia’s action would have any impact. The U.S. Justice Department said earlier this month that too many deadlines had passed and the ERA could no longer be ratified.
On Tuesday, Michelle Kallen, Virginia’s deputy solicitor general, told the committee that state Attorney General Mark R. Herring believes the amendment is still viable.
The full House is set to vote on the ERA on Wednesday. The Senate, which has approved the amendment for the past several years, also passed the bill out of committee on Tuesday and will take it up Wednesday on the floor.