Sorry to be cynical, but I assume this is about helping ensure Equity's solvency by swelling its ranks with largely non-professional actors who may have occasionally been compensated for their work, but would gladly pay dues to join Equity? Naturally, I'm not SummerTheater (RIP?) so I welcome and support increasing diversity and representation, but I imagine there were steps Equity and the industry could have taken (or expanded upon) to address those very important issues other than this dramatic expansion of eligibility.
I wonder if SAG-AFTRA will amend their rules for Equity members. Right now, I believe the eligibility is that Equity members can join SAG-AFTRA if they have at least one year of membership in their main union and have been paid as a principal performer at least once.