Jan 3, 2023 - Politics

Turnover brings fresh faces and more diversity to Minnesota Legislature

Data: Minnesota Legislative Reference Library; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The new Minnesota Legislature is filled with new faces.

Driving the news: Close to 30% of the 201 lawmakers taking office as the session begins Tuesday are freshmen, per the Legislative Reference Library.

Why it matters: New members bring new perspectives, voices and political dynamics to Legislature.

  • But the shift also means there's a big learning curve as lawmakers hash out policy disputes and race to meet the summer deadline for passing a budget.

Zoom in: The new Legislature is also the most diverse in history, with 35 lawmakers of color. A record 12 legislators openly identify as members of the LGBTQ community.

  • A number of new lawmakers are making history: The incoming class includes the first openly transgender legislator, the first Black women senators, and the first non-binary member.

Of note: It's not just freshmen legislators adjusting to their roles this week.

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