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Senate Republicans offer new version of ERA

CARSON CITY — Senate Republicans introduced a proposed state constitutional amendment Friday to ensure equal rights for women and prohibit discrimination.

Senate Joint Resolution 16 is a Nevada version of the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment that Nevada lawmakers adopted in March, exactly 45 years to the day after Congress sent it to states for ratification.

SJR16 is sponsored primarily by GOP Sens. Heidi Gansert and Ben Kieckhefer of Reno; Minority Leader Michael Roberson of Henderson; and Becky Harris and Scott Hammond of Las Vegas. The remaining four Senate Republicans are cosponsors.

Gansert was the only Republican in the upper chamber who voted to ratify the ERA in March, when SJR2 passed on a 13-8 vote.

Critics of the U.S. constitutional amendment said it would allow women more access to abortion, and said passing the resolution is only symbolic because the deadline for ratification passed decades ago.

SJR16 includes a provision that says the right to equal protection “does not create any right relating to abortion” or funding for abortion.

The resolution was introduced with only 10 days remaining in the 120-day session that ends at midnight June 5. It would have to pass this session and again in 2019 before going to voters for ratification in 2020.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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