If you happen to visit the Nevada legislature this week, you’ll witness something this nation has never seen before: A legislative body where a majority of the lawmakers are women.
Female lawmakers now hold 32 of the 63 seats in the Nevada legislature, with 23 women in the state Assembly and nine in the state Senate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That makes the Nevada Legislature 50.8% female, a first for the state and the US.
The women got together for a group photo – complete with corsages – before the 80th Nevada Legislature convened for its first session Monday.
Later, Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson reflected on the progress that has been made.
“Our foremothers … along with scores of dozens of other female legislators, have cleared a path for us. A path that we will now walk,” she said, according to CNN affiliate KOLO. “Our journey will be embedded into strength, and hard work. And we will make this state and our nation proud.”
In the legislative chamber in Carson City, large screens that usually display vote tallies celebrated the milestone with on-screen profiles of Nevada women who were prominent in the suffrage movement.
More women in the chamber means the legislature will deal with the state’s issues in more creative ways, believes one lawmaker.
“We are going to have diversity; we are going to have diversity of thought. We are going to have diversity of opinion. We are going to have diversity of life experiences,” state Minority Whip Lisa Krasner told KOLO.
“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.”
CNN’s Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.