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Senate votes to ratify Equal Rights Amendment (AUDIO)

052214 js 1322RERA would add legal equality for women to the U.S. Constitution

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the Illinois Senate approved a resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. If three-fifths of House members agree, Illinois will become the 36th state to ratify the ERA, and only two additional states will need to sign on in order to reach the three-fourths threshold for constitutional amendments.

“Generations of women have struggled simply to establish as one of our nation’s core values that discrimination based on gender is wrong, yet this issue is as timely and urgent as ever,” said State Senator Heather Steans (D - Chicago), sponsor of the resolution. “From equal pay to equal health care access to fair treatment on college campuses, women’s rights are at risk as long as they are not protected in the Constitution.”

The Equal Rights Amendment reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Congress first sent the amendment to the states for ratification in 1972.

Suits and Sneakers take over the Capitol (VIDEO)

051514 js 0099WRLegislators, staff and lobbyists paired their session suits with sneakers on Thursday as the Senate once again participated in the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers challenge.

The Coaches vs. Cancer program started over twenty years ago as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches and brings attention to the pervasiveness and effects of cancer.

Since that time, many organizations have joined the campaign, raising cancer awareness, and in some cases, funds for research.  

NASCAR's Kenny Wallace advocates for E-15

State Senator John Sullivan introduced NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace on the Senate floor during a trip to Springfield advocating for the use of E-15 fuel.SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace promoted the use of E-15 fuels during a Wednesday visit to the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

"E-15 is a high-performance fuel, and I know a little about high performance," Wallace said. "More people should have the chance to buy fuel that helps Illinois' largest industry: agriculture."

Senators welcome students for Tech Day 2014 (VIDEO)

2014TechDayLast week, schools from around the state gathered at the Capitol to display the use of technology in their classrooms. Students proudly demonstrated their projects to legislators and others while relaying the importance of technology access in the classroom.

On behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus, Senator Michael Hastings (D – Tinley Park) began the day by welcoming students and thanking all of the participating schools for making technology a priority in their classrooms.