Five newly elected Democrats to the Nevada Senate helped take the statehouse for their party and made national history in the process.
On Monday, Nevada’s statehouse began its legislative session and became the first state in the nation to have a female-majority state legislature. Female lawmakers wore corsages and spoke about the importance of the shift, with women making up 50.8 percent of the representatives and senators in the state.
“We are going to have diversity. We are going to have diversity of thought,” Minority Whip Lisa Krasner (R) said in the Assembly chamber Monday. “We are going to have diversity of opinion. We are going to have diversity of life experiences. And so I think that is going to bring new ideas and a new way of dealing with issues, and new issues will come up just because of that diversity.”
“Having the first female-majority legislature is such an accomplishment, not only for Nevada but for the nation as a whole,“ said state Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro (D), the assistant majority leader, according to The Associated Press. “For so long, I think there has been an underrepresentation of women.”
Colorado joined Nevada as the only states in the nation with a female majority in any legislative chamber, NPR reports. Colorado’s lower house has three more women than men. Other states — including Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — also saw higher percentages of female legislators this year.
But other states — including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia — continue to show low numbers for female lawmakers, with women accounting for only about 15 percent state lawmakers, according to NPR.