More Women Legislators and Leaders
Numbers are up this year for women in state legislatures, both as leaders and members. There are more women presiding officers in the nation's state capitols than ever before - four speakers and three Senate presidents. There are more women members than ever before - 1,588 or 21 percent of the 7,424 state legislators, 54 more than in 1995.
WOMEN IN STATE LEGISLATURES The Top Ten State % Women Washington 39% Arizona 37 Colorado 35 Nevada 32 Vermont 32 New Hampshire 31 Minnesota 30 Kansas 30 Maryland 29 Connecticut 28 The Bottom Five State % Women Alabama 4% Kentucky 9 Oklahoma 10 Louisiana 11 Mississippi 11
Ten years ago, women were at 16 percent with 1,170 members. That year, there were three women presiding officers among a total of 17 top women leaders. This year women serve as speakers in Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire and Ohio and as Senate presidents in Arizona, Florida and Iowa. There are a total of 24 women in the top leadership posts - speaker of the House, Senate president, and majority and minority leaders of both houses.
Washington state maintains its long-held status of having the largest proportion of women legislators at 39 percent of the Legislature. Alabama remains at the bottom with 4 percent. Arizona moved into second place this session with 37 percent women lawmakers, up from fourth place and 30 percent in 1995. …