RICHMOND — The GOP-led state Senate voted Tuesday to make Virginia the 38th and final state to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment.
The measure passed with bipartisan support, with seven Republicans joining Democrats on a 26-to-14 vote. The measure faces tougher odds in the House of Delegates and beyond, including hurdles related to long-expired deadlines for passage.
The legislation died last year in committee in both chambers, even though a majority of lawmakers in both the House and the Senate had signed on as co-sponsors. The full Senate has passed it five times in the past eight years, but it has never cleared the House.
The Senate resolution now heads to the House, where comparable House legislation remains in committee.
Advocates hope they have more momentum this year with Republican sponsorship of the Senate resolution. Sen. Glen H. Sturtevant Jr. (R-Chesterfield) sponsored the legislation and joined a bus tour promoting it last year.