Schwarzenegger to Pursue Gender Balance in Calif.

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2008 02:38 PM

By Rick Pedraza

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking with billionaire investor Warren Buffett Wednesday at the Women's Conference in Long Beach, Calif., said he plans to pursue a 50-50 gender split in the California Legislature because he thinks it would lead to better governance.

Schwarzenegger, who acknowledges the fact that California has a number of high-profile women legislators in Washington — including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer — believes the breakdown as a whole isn't equal enough, particularly in the state capital of Sacramento. There are currently 34 women in the 120-member Legislature (28 percent), including Speaker Karen Bass, according to the Legislative Women's Caucus.

"My goal is to do everything we can to also create more women in the Legislature," Schwarzenegger said. "Because we still have 25 percent of legislators who are women in California. I think if we get that up to a level of 50/50, I think you will see decisions are being made differently because women have different priorities. We need that mix in Sacramento and in Washington in order to make great decisions."

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