HISTORIC YEAR: Legislative Session Starts Monday

The 85th General Assembly begins Monday.  The House and Senate will gavel in the 110 day session at 10:00 Monday morning.

2013 could mean women get power like never before at the statehouse.

They’ll have a greater say, along with the class of new members who’ll join them.

For Rep. Linda Upmeyer, 2013 means continuing history.

“It’s exciting to have more women in the legislature,” says Rep. Upmeyer.

Upmeyer begins her third year as the first female House Majority Leader, and looks forward to this year’s new women members.

“I think women add a different dimension, just as any diversity adds a different kind of dimension, an additional dimension to the legislator,” says Rep. Upmeyer.

The 35 women who will serve this session tie the record for the most female legislators set in 2009.

Among them is Sen. Pam Jochum, she is the first female Democrat to serve as Senate President.

That gives women unprecedented leadership power at the statehouse.

“I looking forward to leading the caucus in a very productive, very efficient legislative session, and I really look forward to getting a lot accomplished this year,” says Rep. Upmeyer.

And it’s not just women making a difference soon the empty rotunda at the State Capitol will be filled with Senators and Representatives excited to get the session started, including those who have never served before.

“We`re trying to figure out where everything is in this big building,” says Senate-Elect Rich Taylor.

Taylor will take his seat among some of the new faces in the legislature, taking over for Senator Gene Fraise who served in Southeast Iowa for 27 years before retiring.

“I decided that I’d step up and take his place and keep up with his legacy,” says Taylor.

Taylor joins ten other new Senators and 26 new House members.

He’s excited to make a difference.

“I hope to be talking to the farmers and my friends and neighbors all the time; I hope they brings their issues to me, because I was sent here to Des Moines to represent them not me,” says Taylor.

Monday, new members will join the veterans in picking which seat they get in the chamber.

Seats are picked by seniority, so the freshman have to go last.