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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 03, 2011, 10:08 AM

Freshmen legislators learn a few lessons along the way

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - The first year in the North Dakota Legislature takes getting used to. Teri Finneman visits with members of the freshmen class to see how they're adjusting.

By: Teri Finneman, WDAY

They came in four months ago with the energy of all newcomers hoping to make a difference and this year's freshman class has learned a few lessons about the North Dakota Legislature along the way

STATE SEN. SPENCER BERRY - (R) Fargo: “It's very fast and that's something that you learn very early is that there's a lot of information. In some regards, it's like drinking water from a fire hose.

There are 23 true freshmen in this year's class trying to learn the ropes. For Phil Murphy, his background as a teacher has been a big help with his new job.

STATE SEN. PHIL MURPHY - (D) Portland: “Being a teacher and having six shows a day and answering lots of questions every day and watching the news a lot as I do because current events is part of what I teach, along with economics, has been very helpful for me.”

Lonnie Laffen ran for office to help shape the state's future and leaves a legacy for the younger generations. Being a legislator has increased his appreciation for those who commit themselves to improving North Dakota.

STATE SEN. LONNIE LAFFEN - (R) Grand Forks: “When you're not here, you always say, oh those people at the Legislature, not sure what they're doing. But when you get here, you just realize that everybody's heart is really in the right place.”

They are lessons as freshmen that will help them in the future.

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