Illinois freshmen lawmakers endure rookie hazing -

Illinois freshmen lawmakers endure rookie hazing

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Freshman Illinois legislators have a lot to do when they get to Springfield: learn their way around, talk to constituents -- and get hazed by their colleagues.

For 15 and 30 minutes at a time, rookies presenting their first bills have to stand before an entire legislative chamber and calmly respond to ridiculous questions and dark insinuations about their honesty and motives.

With 29 freshmen joining the state Legislature since 2010, senior lawmakers have had plenty of targets for the camaraderie-building, skin-thickening experience.

The hazing occurs in the Senate but is far more common in the House. It's designed to create headaches for freshmen lawmakers.

Rep. Lou Lang says it provides a valuable lesson on how to stand one's ground, make a point and clearly defend a position and bill.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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