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East TN lawmakers prepare for new session

2:00 AM, Jan 6, 2013   |    comments
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On Tuesday, East Tennessee lawmakers will head to Nashville to start a new legislative session.

There will be many newcomers to the political activities of the state house and state senate as well. State Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-District 13, will be sworn in to her new role Tuesday.

She competed in a close race with Republican challenger Gary Loe in the general election.

"Actually being on the floor as a legislator will be an amazing experience," she said.

Johnson told 10News she was looking forward to tackling issues pertaining to jobs, education, and healthcare. She said she was not concerned about being a part of a political minority in the house. There are 99 representatives in that chamber; 1 is an independent, 28 are democrats and 70 are republicans.

"I think good legislation doesn't have a lot of partisan emphasis," Johnson said.

State Sen. Doug Overbey has been a part of the state legislature for 12 years. He said his biggest focus this session will be the budget.

"We're looking forward to what Governor Haslam is going to propose," he said.

Overbey advised legislators, freshman and veteran alike, to simply do one thing this session in order to get things done.

"When I first got to the General Assembly, we were admonished to listen more than we talk," he said.

And, that is something Johnson said she plans to do plenty of.

"That's what's really important," Johnson said.

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