Updated: 2:24 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | Posted: 1:44 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Forty-three women are serving in the 2007 N.C. General Assembly, up from 39 last session. According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, North Carolina is now 18th highest among the 50 states in the percentage of women in its legislature, with 25 percent. The number of legislators who are self-employed is the fastest rising occupation. Twenty-three legislators are self-employed – for example, as political consultants, strategic planning consultants, or financial advisors – compared to five self-employed legislators just 10 years ago. The number of legislators who are lawyers has rebounded. In 1971, 68 of 170 legislators were lawyers. This number declined to 32 in 1995 but is back up to 40 lawyers this session. The numbers of legislators who are in business and sales (35), education (23), and real estate (19) also are high. The legislature is on a record pace for the number of bills introduced in a session. As of May 7, 3,507 bills had been introduced. The previous high was in 1987, when a total of 3,723 were introduced. However, based on the number of bills being prepared for introduction, the 2007 number will set a new record by the end of this session.
From the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research