Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Middleton Membership in House Will Give Colorado National Lead in Percentage of Female Legislators

With the appointment of Colorado Board of Education member Karen Middleton to replace former Rep. Michael Garcia (D-Aurora), the House will have 26 women members. With a total of 60 districts, that means 40 percent of state representatives are female.

There are 10 women among the 35 state senators.

Thus, Colorado will have 36 women among 95 legislators after Middleton is sworn in Wednesday. That's 37.9%.

That's enough to make the Centennial State the nation's leader in percentage of legislators who are women. Colorado edges Vermont, which has 37.8% female legislators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures Women's Legislative Network.

According to the NCSL, women hold 23.6% of state legislative seats nationwide this year.

A comparison of the number of female legislators in the Colorado General Assembly with other states is not useful since there is no uniform number of total legislators in states across the nation.

However, according to NCSL Connecticut (53 women/187 seats in legislature), Florida (37/160), Georgia (46/236), Illinois (48/177), Kansas (48/165), Maine (59/186), Maryland (59/188), Massachusetts (49/200), Minnesota (70/201), Missouri (38/197), Montana (37/150), New Hampshire(152/424), New York (51/212), North Carolina (44/170), Pennsylvania (37/253), Vermont (68/180) and Washington (52/147) have a higher number of women legislators than does Colorado.