Opening moments of 2011 Iowa legislature

The Senate convened shortly after 10 o’clock this monring and the House followed a few minutes later.  Both the Senate and House observed moments of silence for the victims of Saturday’s shooting massacre in Arizona. 

The House began with the ceremony, swearing in the 100 members of the House and then having each come forward to sign the paperwork.  The Senate began with speeches from Senate President Jack Kibbie, Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) and then Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs).  The  23 senators who were elected in November took the oath of office at about 10:32 a.m.  Joni Ernst, the woman who won last week’s special election for a southwest Iowa seat, will be sworn in by early next week after the votes in that special election are certified. The 25th senator will likely be sworn in by the end of the month after a special election to fill the senate seat held by Larry Noble is held January 18.  Noble resigned to be Iowa’s Public Safety Commissioner.

At 10:45 a.m., the House had elected a new speaker, Republican Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha, the first formal indication Republicans are now in charge of the House.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.