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The article at the end of the Minnesota legislative session highlighting the Equal Rights Amendment ("Sports betting, ERA still on lawmakers' to-do list," Hot Dish Politics, May 28) was partly right and partly wrong.

The truth of the matter? This was the most successful legislative session in 50 years for the Equal Rights Amendment in Minnesota since we ratified the federal ERA in 1973.

How do we figure that success? ERA Minnesota, a coalition of thousands of activists and allied organizations across the state, have for years introduced not one but two ERA bills, and this year one of them prevailed: The resolution to Congress to enact the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed with flying colors in a bipartisan manner and was even signed by Gov. Tim Walz, though he was not under any obligation to do so since resolutions do not require a governor's signature. Apparently it was important enough to his administration to own a piece of the ERA, just like the famous photo op of President Jimmy Carter signing the ERA extension resolution in Congress in 1979.

What's to know about this resolution? In the past year, five states — including Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Illinois — all passed similar resolutions telling Congress to enact the ERA. Furthermore, our North Star State was the first to create such a resolution. ERA Minnesota got that ball rolling. It only took us eight years and some wordsmithing to pass it, but we were successful thanks to our chief authors, Sen. Sandy Pappas and Rep. Kristin Bahner. Ironically, the passage of this resolution was reported all the way up in North Dakota, but not by Minnesota's largest newspaper. We're famous in Fargo.

Where did the Star Tribune piece fall short? It only focused on our other bill, the Minnesota state ERA ballot initiative. So here are the facts: We got 90% of the way through the process on that bill, and that bill is still very much alive this biennium. The state ERA bill passed the Senate by 43-23 in a strongly bipartisan manner. It went through the process in the House and was pulled off the House floor on the final day of the session for future consideration. Meanwhile, we received assurance from Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Jamie Long that they intend to bring it up at the beginning of next session in February for a vote. The aforementioned article did reflect Hortman's determination to work with her caucus and stakeholders in the interim to ensure ERA succuss of voters in the 2024 general election. We are most grateful to our state ERA ballot initiative chief authors, Sen. Mary Kunesh and Rep. Kaohly Her, for their steadfast leadership.


The ERA is a movement that affects all movements. It's about women's rights, it's about LGBTQIA rights, it's about everybody's rights, because equality has no qualifiers. While celebrating our success on passage of the ERA federal resolution to Congress, ERA Minnesota will continue build coalitions and roll this boulder uphill until we have embedded an Equal Rights Amendment into both our state and federal Constitutions. All are welcome to join us.

Betty Folliard is a former state representative and founder of ERA Minnesota.