Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown)

State Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown) speaks to colleagues on the senate floor on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in advance of the unanimous 20-0 vote in favor or her proposed legislation that would prohibit insurance carriers' coverage restrictions for those in need of immediate treatment for mental illness, or drug and alcohol dependency addictions.

The final vote in the Delaware State Senate for the Equal Rights Amendment cleared by a 16-5 vote top pass House Bill 1.

The words "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex" are now part of the First State's constitution.

State Senator Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown) was the prime senate sponsor on the bill and remarked on the long journey to the historic moment.

“This nation has aspired to equality of rights under the law since we first announced independence, but the campaign to write and pass laws that uphold that equality has been a long one indeed,” said Hansen. “Today, we mark another triumphant step forward in one of those long battles. From this day forward, the Delaware State Constitution will unequivocally guarantee equality of rights under the law for men and women alike. While the greater campaign for equality is not nearly finished, this latest chapter marks the culmination of an effort for an Equal Rights Amendment that dates back decades. To the women and men who started this fight, and to the many Delawareans who worked so hard to move us forward today, thank you.”

House majority leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) was the prime house sponsor, where the bill passed through with a 35-6 vote last week.

“With the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, we have not only set the standard for women’s equality in this moment, but for years to come. We are saying strongly and with conviction that we value a vibrant Delaware, where men and women are on an even playing field,” said Longhurst. “The battle for women’s equality has been a decades-long struggle, with advocates tirelessly fighting for rights that should be protected under the law. At long last, their dreams have come to fruition today. It has been an honor to champion this effort with Sen. Hansen, building on the work of the suffragettes and trailblazing women legislators who have come before us.”

WDEL's jack of many trades, Kevin is a hybrid news/sports reporter and anchor. On top of being the Education reporter for your trusted source for news, Kevin is a USMC veteran, Camden County College and Temple University journalism alumni.