'You can't hang anything on the wall. They have to come up here and do it for you'

LEARNING CURVE FOR LAWMAKERS | Watch #LiveOnKVAL at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m February 20

SALEM, Ore. - Julie Fahey is still moving in.

"We are working on getting furniture and art work into our office," the newly elected representative from Eugene said. "We really want to set it up so that constituents will feel welcome when they come."

There is a lot to learn as she joins her first legislative session since taking office.

"There's some back ways to get to different rooms and different stairways that you can take to get to places more efficiently," she said.

And there's the all important parking place.

"The folks with the most seniority tend to have the spots closest to the elevator," she said. "So as a new person, my spot is over down about 50 feet away."

Sen. James Manning was appointed to complete the term of Sen. Chris Edwards, who resigned to take a job at the University of Oregon.

"There's history here in this office," Manning said. "There's been a lot of great legislators that have come here and sat at this desk. I had to kind of personalize it a little bit myself and put some of my memorabilia on the wall."

Manning learned early on there are rules for everything - even decorating your office.

"You can't hang anything on the wall. They have to come up here and do it for you," he said. "I have a phone that I have no idea how to use, to be honest with you."

These seemingly trivial trials for first-time lawmakers sound familiar to Sen. Lee Beyer of Springfield.

Beyer has served in the House and Senate for a combined 16 years.

"The first session I was here was trying to figure out how the place works," he recalled. "I came in with a lot of local government experience and thought, well, I know how this stuff works - and what you realize is you don't."

With the session is in full swing, Rep. Fahey is settling into the routine.

"It's a pretty full schedule from the minute you get in in the morning til when you leave at night," she said.

Sen. Manning said he is looking forward to having a more active role in helping the people of his district.

"I now have a say so in how these processes will work, and I always keep their face in front of me because at the end of the day it's about people," he said. "This is not about me. It's an opportunity for me to continue serving people."

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