Freshman legislators are learning the ropes today and tomorrow.
During a two-day orientation, five newly elected state senators and a number of new representatives are learning how to make their way through the General Assembly, literally and figuratively.
Sen.-elect Don Vaughan said the group has heard welcome speeches from Speaker Joe Hackney and Senate leader Marc Basnight, but the more critical information has been about logistics.
"Everybody's pretty green, and there are a lot of questions about how to get around the legislative building, where the Senate floor is, how many seats are in the Senate — basic types of things," he said.
Vaughan, a seven-term member of the Greensboro City Council and longtime lawyer, said the bill-writing part is not new to him, though he was interested to learn about the legislative Web site and get tips from state capital police about emergency procedures.
He said he also wants to do well in the former seat of U.S. Sen.-elect Kay Hagan.
"They are certainly big shoes to fill," he said. "Kay Hagan has been an outstanding member here for 10 years, so I'm here to learn and hit the ground running."
New legislators will have a second orientation on Jan. 7-8 at the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Related: Basnight tells freshmen special interests are "in every shadow, in every corner."