Iowa’s newest lawmakers are taking a “get-acquainted” tour of the state capitol this week. John Pollak, an administrator with the Legislative Service Bureau, is in charge of their orientation. He says they’ve been holding sessions on how bills become law, constituent relations and dealing with lobbyist, and some former freshmen lawmakers will give the new ones tips. Newly elected Mason City representative Bill Schickel has an advantage of sorts over some of his fellow freshman lawmakers. He once worked as a reporter covering the legislature, and he says some things haven’t changed. Deborah Berry of Waterloo is a new democratic representative who sees the orientation process healing wounds from some campaigns. She came in with the notion that everyone was at odds, but after dining with peers and talking with the legislators she’s confident they’re all just people like her, and respect one another. Berry says she was also impressed with a lesson on the state’s ethics laws.
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