Today is the official first day of the 189th General Court of Massachusetts with the swearing in of all elected State Senators and State Representatives. Each chamber was sworn in by outgoing Governor Deval Patrick and they elected their leader for the 2015 - 2016 legislative session. Senator Stanley Rosenberg (D - Amherst) was elected Senate President and Representative Robert DeLeo (D - Winthrop) was re-elected as Speaker of the House. They are the two highest ranking members of the legislature.
The Women's Caucus is happy to welcome five new members: Representative Christine Barber, Representative Kate Campanale, Representative Michelle DuBois, Senator Barbara L'Italien and Representative Susannah Whipps Lee. With the departure of Senate President Therese Murray, Senator Gale Candaras, Representative Denise Andrews, Representative Christine Canavan and Representative Rhonda Nyman, and the election of our new members, the Caucus will maintain a membership of 50. Women will continue to represent 25% of the legislature.
Compared to other states across the country, Massachusetts ranks in the middle for women serving in the legislature. Although our numbers in the legislature have stayed the same, we are pleased to see four of the six Constitutional Officers be female. We welcome Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey, Treasurer and Receiver General Deb Goldberg and Auditor Suzanne Bump. In addition, Massachusetts is represented in Congress by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congresswoman Katherine Clark.
For more information on state-by-state statistics about women serving in elected office, please visit the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University website.