2012 Legislative session begins

Lawmakers in the House and Senate gaveled in at about noon, with friends and family filling the balconies and the floor of each chamber. The oath of office was given to new lawmakers, marking the start of the new term.

The Legislature is expected to complete several housekeeping tasks this afternoon – some of them pretty major, including electing a new House Speaker (expected to be Rep. Philip Gunn of Clinton), Speaker Pro Tempore (likely Greg Snowden of Meridian) and Senate President Pro Tempore (likely Sen. Terry Brown of Columbus) — all are Republicans.

Gov.-elect Phil Bryant is leading the Senate today as he finishes up his term as lieutenant governor. Lt. Gov-elect Tate Reeves is here, as is outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour.

Elizabeth Crisp
Clarion Ledger