RICHMOND, Va.—It is back to work at the State Capitol as the 2012 General Assembly session gets underway in Richmond.
On Wednesday afternoon, the lawmakers convened for the opening session.
With some new faces for central and southwestern Virginia.
It is a changing of the guard of sorts.
In the House of Delegates, for example, Henry County Democrat Ward Armstrong is gone. So House Democrats have a new leader. And Republicans have historic numbers there.
In the Senate we have the 20/20 split between Republicans and Democrats, and two new members, both Republicans, representing our part of the state.
Tom Garrett received a warm welcome from his new Senate colleagues.
Though he hails from Louisa County, the district he represents stretches all the way to Amherst County.
Garrett represents the 22nd District.
"It's kind of a little bit overwhelming, but there have been a lot of people who came before me. And I am going to look at the best examples I can find and do the best I can," Garrett said.
Bill Carrico is no stranger to the General Assembly, having served in the House of Delegates since 2002.
Now, he says he's looking forward to joining a divided state senate.
" want to make these friendships on the other side. I did it in the House and I intend to do it in the Senate," said Carrico, who represents the 40th District. "We're not going to agree on everything, but my wife and I don't agree on everything either. That's just life."
Late Wednesday afternoon, members of the Senate finally got down to business, trying to resolve how the 20/20 split will play out, and whether Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling's tie breaker will give Republicans in organizing the senate.