In years past, opening day has been a really festive occasion – office parties, buffets, music and receptions. This session, despite the historic transfer of power, it’s a more subdued occasion.
That’s partly because many lawmakers aren’t really moved into their offices yet. More than 100 of the 120 House members changed offices, and most got their official assignments only two days ago. Some don’t even have their furniture moved yet. Few have nameplates on their doors.
That’s not to say that no one is celebrating, of course. Lexington Republican Rayne Brown, who took the seat of former House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman, held a big reception for her supporters in one of the House conference rooms. Dozens of people from her district were milling around tables loaded with flowers, drinks, pimento cheese sandwiches, even a lava lamp.
Brown herself was close to tears as she addressed the room shortly before session. “It’s been a wild ride,” she said. “But I know who sent me here, and you know where to find me.”