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Freshmen Legislators Get Schooled at Capitol

November 15th, 2016 by flanews

The election is over and now it’s time to go to work for the people Floridians chose to represent them in the state house.  As Matt Galka tells us, many new faces flooded the capitol for prep work on how to be an elected official.

Things got real for newly elected state representatives and Senators Tuesday.  More than 60 new faces were at the Capitol for orientation.

“One thing that’s really true for us to represent the people and do a really good job, knowledge is power. And the more knowledgeable our members are, that’s the less powerful the special interests, that’s the less distracting the outside noise or circus is,” said House Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran.

The first day is everything from picture taking to learning to navigate the Capitol.

Rep. Barrington Russell/(D) Lauderhill

“Here it’s like you’re told what to do and you have to fall in line and of course comport accordingly, it’s interesting, it’s a bit fast paced,” said newly elected South Florida Rep. Barrington Russell (D-Lauderhill).

Representative Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee) returns to the Florida House after an 8 year absence – but under newly proposed House rules that are stricter on lobbyists and the budget process.

“There are some pieces of it that concern me a little bit, but I think that for the most part I applaud him for really stepping up and trying to make sure this process is as transparent as possible,” she said.

But new Senator Daryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) – who had been in the House before the most recent election – says there’s still time to see how the chambers operate under potentially different rules.

“We have a long way to go before we get to the budgeting process, the conferencing process, the Senate is a different chamber and is expected to pass its own rules that benefit its members and its constituents,” he said.

The 46 new House members make up the second largest class ever. The Senate’s 20 new members compose its largest freshman class.

All lawmakers are expected back at the Capitol next week to be sworn in to their new terms in office.

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