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The 2023 Minnesota Legislature was sworn in Tuesday, sweeping in the state’s most diverse set of lawmakers ever.
The House and Senate convened at 12 p.m., swearing in many new legislators who were elected last November. At least 35 out of 201 legislators identify as people of color, according to a Sahan Journal count verified by DFL and Republican party leaders. There were 27 lawmakers of color in the 2022 session.
The Senate also made history by swearing in its first Black women senators. Democrats Erin Maye Quade, Zaynab Mohamed, and Clare Oumou Verbeten won their elections last November by easy margins, becoming the first Black women elected to the Minnesota Senate in 164 years of statehood.
LGBTQ representation also expanded this year. According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a national organization that works to elect LGBTQ lawmakers, at least 12* of this year’s state lawmakers belong to the LGBTQ community—a record that will more than double that representation in the Legislature.
Alicia Kozlowski, the state’s first non-binary lawmaker, and Leigh Finke, the state’s first openly transgender lawmaker, were sworn into the House Tuesday. Kozlowski is also Mexican and Ojibwe.
*UPDATE: This story has been updated to show that the number of LGBTQ lawmakers in the 2023 Minnesota Legislature has increased due to new information.