Newly elected Pennsylvania state legislators report to work

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's freshman class of state legislators report to work for their first day at the Capitol, Tuesday.

There are several first-time senators and representatives ready to serve the people of Pennsylvania.

Many of the new state leaders said although this is their first time working at the Capitol, they plan to bring their past experience to shape the state's future.

As the Pennsylvania General Assembly met for the first time in 2017, it was a return to familiar territory for some state legislators, but for the freshman class at the Capitol, it also was a day to remember.

Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (D-95th district) said "it's very exciting. I have my family, and my friends are here to share with me. I'm just ready to get started."

Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-92nd district) said "absolutely humbling, that people actually chose me to serve as the voice here in Harrisburg so i'm excited to get to work."

Rep. Frank Ryan (R-101st district) said "it reminds me very much of my swearing in day, when I was in the United States marine corps back in 1969, where I took an oath of office to support and defend the constitution of the united states of america. we're doing that same thing today."

greeting old friends or making new ones is part of the day's agenda.

Sen. John DiSanto (R-15th district) said "I believe I have great negotiating skills. I have the ability to talk across many different topics, and I look forward to having an influence, bringing different parties together and moving the state forward."

Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-106th district) said "we're going to work really hard to keep up the high constituent services in our area. Really, I want to work together with the other side, and work together to get things done. We can make sure that Pennsylvania is a better place than it was before I came in here."

After these new members were officially sworn in to serve the people of Pennsylvania, it was time to focus on bringing their experience outside the Capitol to help resolve the state's projected $600 million budget deficit.

"My entire business career, when I was not playing marine, was specializing in keeping companies out of bankruptcy. I want to bring that same type of fiscal discipline, military discipline to Pennsylvania. We have to get this under control," Ryan said.

"I made a promise to not increase any taxes, and I'm going to stand firm on that. I think we need to look at ways we can cut spending, cut programs if we need to, and streamline some of the government that we have," Keefer said.

"I'm used to doing budgets, having been on city council for nine years. I'm used to seeing, identifying things and items that maybe we can do without, that maybe could be put off until another time. So I'm ready," Hill-Evans said.