After state Rep. Mark Hall was sworn in last week as a member of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly's House of Representatives, he paused for a moment as he was walking down the front steps of the …
After state Rep. Mark Hall was sworn in last week as a member of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly's House of Representatives, he paused for a moment as he was walking down the front steps of the Capitol building.
"I was walking down the steps and the breeze hit my face," Hall said. "It was incredible."
He is still thrilled by last week's experience.
"The Capitol building with its marble columns is so majestic and overpowering," Hall said. "I couldn't help but reflect on everyone who came there before me — those who were dedicated to the state. It was very humbling."
Each balcony of the Capitol building offers a 360-degree view of Nashville.
"It's breathtaking," Hall said.
It was a busy first week for the freshman representative: orientation classes, meeting other legislators, as well as Capitol staff. In addition, he has already helped several of his constituents.
"I've already solved some problems for them," Hall said.
Hall said state Sen. Mike Bell and state Rep. Dan Howell were especially helpful in showing him the ropes during his first week as a representative.
"They helped me through what seemed like a maze of issues," Hall said of their help during his first week as a legislator. "Without them it would have felt like I was trying to balance on a hammock."
Although it was his first week, Hall said he had already cast votes on some housekeeping issues related to the start-up of the new legislative session.
Instead of calling out their vote inside the chamber, Hall said legislators press a button at their desks to place their vote.
"It's not like verbal votes on the county commission," Hall said.
A large screen at the front of the House chamber highlights their name when they cast their votes.
"You have to make sure you press the button all the way to make sure your vote is counted," Hall said laughingly.
He will return to Nashville this weekend to attend the inauguration of Gov.-elect Bill Lee, who will become Tennessee's 50th governor.
Although Hall had an exciting first week as a legislator, he said he will not forget those he represents.
"I want to have an open rapport with my constituents," Hall said. "I do not want to become detached."
Before his election as state representative, Hall served on the Bradley County Commission for 12 years.
In addition, Hall co-chairs the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council.
The legislative session resumes Friday.
During his swearing in, Hall was accompanied by his father, his son and daughter-in-law, and his sister and his brother-in-law.
Having his father, as well as other members of his family, witness his swearing-in ceremony was a poignant moment for Hall.
"He's been with me every step of the way," Hall said. "I'm grateful he could witness that."
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