Equal Rights Amendment to be heard Monday in Nevada Legislature

Lawmakers this week hold the first hearing in what will be the fourth attempt to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for women in Nevada.

A total of 35 states ratified the amendment but that was more than 30 years ago and three states shy of the 38 needed to change the U.S. Constitution to recognize gender equality. If SJR2 passes the Nevada Legislature, it would require congressional action to extend and recognize those previous actions.

SJR2 will be heard by the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Sen. Pat Spearman, D-Las Vegas, is the primary author but the resolution has numerous other lawmakers signed on as supporters, both male and female. She has continually argued the fight for equality isn’t yet over — pointing to the disparities in pay between men and women. Spearman chairs the committee.

The ERA was approved twice in the 1970s by the Assembly and once, in 1977, by the Senate. In all three cases, the resolution died in the other house.

That hearing will be followed on Tuesday by a hearing in front of the Assembly Legislative Affairs and Operations Committee on AJR2, a proposed amendment to the Nevada Constitution that would require recognition of all marriages regardless of gender.

Also on Tuesday, a third resolution seeking to amend the state constitution will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SJR1 would replace the existing Pardons Board with an appointed Clemency Board. The Pardons Board consists of the Governor, Attorney General and seven Supreme Court justices. The Clemency Board would replace the elected officials with appointees by the governor, AG and high court.

The Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee takes up the second in a series of bills to raise Nevada’s minimum wage. SB106 would raise the wage 75 cents a year until it reaches $12 an hour. AB175 would raise the minimum $1.25 a year until it hits $15 an hour. It received its first hearing last week.

The Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee on Tuesday reviews AB159, a bill that would ban hydraulic fracking in the Silver State.

The Senate Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday hears SB176, a bill to make body cameras mandatory for law authorizes them in other jurisdictions. This bill would make the body cameras mandatory statewide.

Two hearings are scheduled — on Wednesday and again Friday — before a joint subcommittee of the money committees to review human resources programs that provide indigent care, Medicaid services and related programs.

To align with the ERA hearings NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada is planning a rally on Monday.

Monday is also Mineral Coalition Day at the Legislature. Wednesday is Nevada Nurses Day and Thursday Senior Issues Day.

Friday is Family Medicine Advocacy Day.


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