One interesting tidbit from the long chat I had yesterday with Rep. Tracy Edge:
I asked him how the new members of our delegation are doing in the House (we've got three this year). He didn't have any complaints about their performance, but worried that the seating arrangements may be holding them back. It's frankly something I've never really thought much about.
As Edge put it, the first day of a session "is like high school all over again." All of the members stand at the back of the House chambers while one of those cages for mixing up bingo balls is turned at the front. County delegations wait for their county to be called and then grab seats based on when their name comes up. The goal is always to get seats close to each other so folks can confer and offer advice, etc.
This year, Horry's ball came up late, and all that was left were spots for 2 or 3 people to sit together. Horry's 10-person delegation got split up across the room. As a result, Edge said, many of the new folks are scattered around the room and without the usual support they might get from more veteran colleagues. An intriguing quirk of fate. Next time lawmakers get to pick seats is 2015.