A dozen new state representatives and eight new state senators are finding their way around the statehouse today as the 2005 Legislative session gets underway. Tom Riley, a democrat from Oskaloosa, is among the rookie lawmakers. Riley, an attorney who was Oskaloosa’s Mayor, is a state senator as of 10:15 this morning. “My cheeks are starting to hurt because I’ve been grinning so much all day,” Riley says. “It beats the heck out of getting sworn in as mayor, I can tell ya that. (There’s) a lot more pageantry involved,” Riley says. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event and I’m just thrilled to be enjoying it.”Most new legislators had an entourage this morning when they took the oath of office, and Riley was no exception. “My mom, my dad, my mother-in-law, father-in-law, nieces, nephews, friends,” Riley says. “Had some good surprises come up this morning. It’s been great.” Now, Riley’s ready to tackle issues. “I’m real enthusiastic, optimistic that we’re actually going to get some stuff done,” Riley says.”I’m looking forward to just getting the process moving, starting the debates and improving this great state.”Another former mayor — Urbandale’s Brad Zahn — was also sworn in as a state senator this morning. “It’s just been really exciting,” Zahn says. “Actually, I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited. You know, it’s just a huge honor to be in here and be a state senator.” Zahn intends to be seen, not heard in the first month. “I just want to learn the system and find out how it all works and listen,” he says. Zahn, a republican, says he hopes the partisan, democrat versus republican conflicts don’t “take over” and diminish the legislature’s ability to accomplish things. Zahn and Riley are two of the four former mayors elected to the senate in November. Zahn says the group of former city leaders brings a unique perspective. “I’ve done this before. I’ve dealt with constituents before,” Zahn says. “It’s going to be nice that I don’t get those phone calls because their garbage wasn’t picked up or whatever, but certainly it’s a new challenge.”