Thirty-eight percent of the members in the 2003 Iowa Legislature will be rookies. Seventeen new Senators will be sworn in on January 13th and there’ll be 41 new Representatives. House Speaker-elect Christopher Rants of Sioux City says those new members will make a big difference.Rants says the new members don’t have a lot of baggage, aren’t locked into positions on some issues, and can provide a fresh perspective. Rants says the new members may be willing to take chances long-term pols would never imagine taking. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says he’s been thrilled by the enthusiasm of the new members. Iverson says they know big decisions must be made, and the new members have shown a willingness to do that. Iverson says the “new energy” is reinvigorating to legislators who’ve been around for awhile. House Democrat Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City says the new members will make the Legislature “more energetic.” Myers says new people in any organization bring new ideas and a fresh look at things. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the 2003 Legislature will be markedly different from last year because of the make-up of the new districts. Gronstal says the 2003 Legislature will be more urban, quite a bit more suburban and a lot less rural.
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