California lawmakers gathered for the first official day of the new two-year Legislative session on Monday.
They took the oath of office and welcomed newly elected members in the Senate and Assembly.
Southern California Democrat Bob Archuleta was one of them. He's an Army veteran who's held many positions in his career: police officer, mayor, city council member, and now, state Senator for District 32.
“I thought it was going to hit me when I raised my hand,” Archuleta said. “But it hit me when I signed the document.”
Archuleta signed the oath with a pen given to him by his son, Major Brandon Archuleta of the U.S. Army. Family members say they will hold onto that pen as a treasure.
In the Assembly, Cottie Petrie-Norris is also holding a position in the Legislature for the first time. She spent the last 20 years working in the business and technology sector and now is a state Assembly member representing the central coast region of Orange County.
She and 79 other members stood up, raised their right hand and took the oath of office.
“Saying those words and pledging to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of California,” Petrie-Norris said, “that to me was the most impactful and most profound moment of the day.”
Five state senators and eight Assembly members are became lawmakers this session for the first time.