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State Senate Democrats and Republicans meet on possible ERA compromise

Delaware Public Media

State Senate Democrats and Republicans have met to discuss a compromise on the proposed state Equal Rights Amendment.

But it’s unclear whether progress is being made to get it passed in the Senate. The state ERA Amendment would modify Delaware’s Constitution to bar discrimination based on sex.

State Sen. Stephanie Hansen, who is one of the bill sponsors, said the talks are going well.

“I think everyone knows that it’s the right thing to do," she said. "It’s just getting us over the finish line is what we’re all, I think, cooperatively working towards.”

The legislation passed the House in March. But it failed in the Senate in a largely party-line vote. Republican amendments related to the ERA’s impact on abortion, private-sector wages and organizations offering programs to only one sex also failed along party lines.

Hansen said she’s hopeful language clarifying the legislation’s intent can be worked out to address those concerns.

“Both sides are interested in working towards a solution because this is a very important bill," she said. "You know, this is setting the standard and it’s raising the bar for equality for women in our state.”

But a spokeswoman for the Senate Republican Caucus would only say there is no news on the talks at the moment.

Changing the state’s constitution takes super majorities in both chambers over two consecutive General Assembly sessions. The current two-year session ends June 30th.

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