CARSON CITY, Nev (KOLO) Excitement was seen throughout the legislative building as the 80th Nevada Legislature was ready to get underway February 4, 2019.
32 female members of NV Legislature pose for photos before the start of the 80th Legislative Session, in Carson City Feb. 4, 2019. The group represents the first female majority Legislature in the country. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum.
The women wore corsages. There were flowers on desks, and plenty of picture-taking.
But perhaps the most overall significant picture taken was the photograph taken about an hour prior, where Nevada women lawmakers met to mark history.
They are the first in Nevada and in the nation to have a majority in a state legislature. A photograph was taken of them together next door in the Capitol.
“Our foremothers, speaker Buckley and Kirkpatrick along with scores of dozens of other female legislators, have cleared a path for us. A path that we will now walk. Our journey will be embedded into strength, and hard work. And we will make this state and our nation proud,” said Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson as she spoke on the floor of the Assembly.
In the Assembly chambers, large screens typically devoted to vote tallies and announcements marked the day with Nevada women in the suffrage movement and other firsts for women in the chambers.
As the group of 42 lawmakers was sworn in, you could see the pride in the women's faces. It is a new day no matter which party you belong to.
“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. 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,” said Minority Whip Lisa Krasner.
Making history by numbers is one thing; making a difference is another, and only in the weeks and months ahead will we know what a majority-woman legislature will mean to the Silver State, and whether it will serve as an example to the other 49.