Legislative Session Preparations | VideoJessica Roose | 12/3/2012
This afternoon, 25 freshman members of the North Dakota legislature were sworn into office. Of those new members, 17 are in the House and eight in the Senate.
"Initially I was incredibly nervous. I felt like it was my first day of school," said Senator Nicole Poolman (R-Bismarck).
In some ways it was. New members spent the day getting settled in, finding out where they will sit and meeting with their peers.
"With the exception of our caucus meeting this is the first time I am meeting a lot of the senators, especially on the other side of the aisle. So thats been exciting and a lot of fun. It just seems like a great group of people to work with and I`m just excited to get started," Poolman said.
Representative Lois Delmore (D-Grand Forks) is starting her 18th year of service in the legislature, and she has some advice for the new members.
"Big thing is to stay calm and keep your head. Ask questions if you don`t know the answers because we all have days, even if we`ve been here 18 years, where we don`t know all the answers."
One of the young members she is mentoring is Representative Kylie Oversen (D-Grand Forks), who at 23, happens to be the youngest female state representative in the country.
"We have a lot more young people in our state legislature here in North Dakota than we`ve had in a long time and it`s really important because this generation will soon take over leadership roles. So it`s important that we`re all getting engaged now and becoming active in the process," she said.
She says she looks forward to working on both education and oil development issues in the upcoming session.
Members will meet again over the next couple days to figure out committee assignments. The session will convene on Tuesday, January 8.