TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) The Kansas Legislature starts its 2013 session with the lowest number of women since 1988.
A survey conducted by Rutgers University says 39 of the state’s 165 lawmakers this session will be female. That ranks Kansas 26th in female representation in the country.
In comparison, the state had 55 female legislators and ranked fifth in the nation.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports some lawmakers cite last year’s redistricting for the decline.
While their numbers are down, female legislators moved into leadership positions. Sen. Susan Wagle is the state’s first female Senate President and Rep. Peggy Mast was elected House Speaker Pro Tem. And four of the Democrats’ six House minority leadership positions went to women.