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Jr. Legislators Get All up In People’s Business


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On April 16 and 17, eighteen SVHS students traveled to Cokeville to participate in Jr. Legislation. Simply put, Jr. Leg. is a mock Congress where students from across southwest Wyoming debate bills they’ve written themselves.

Students are first divided into different legislations to debate and add amendments to bills that are in similar departments. Then they come together and vote for the Speaker of the House and the Reading Clerk. Our very own Chance Blankenship was elected as Speaker of the House, the most exclusive position at the mock Congress.

After the election, all of the students, or delegates, debate upon the bills that pass the first reading. During this discussion, delegates are encouraged to speak their minds using facts and statistics to get people to vote either for or against the bill. Major amendments can also be debated and voted upon at this stage. This second reading takes up two days, and when it is completed, the delegate awards are handed out.

Star Valley won three out of five delegate awards.

 

Tiffany Whitby// Junior

Q: What insights did Jr. Leg. give you into government?

A: It was a ton of fun for a politics nerd like me because I read about the news all the time, and I’m always like,

“What the freak, why did they do that?” But then after actually going, I realized that “Whelp, building a wall around the border of Wyoming and making Idaho pay for it doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea after all!” Like, the people there were super smart and made dedicated arguments most of the time.

Q: What did you enjoy most?

A: I enjoyed this kid named Garrett who kept forgetting to address the speaker, and when he was called out on it, he’d be like “Oh, mahname’s Garrett” with a giant grin on his face. He just made me laugh.

Q: What was the most difficult part?

A: The most difficult part was definitely sitting on the inside because whenever I wanted to get up to talk, my butt would be all up in people’s business, and, yeah, it was just super awkward. Also talking in front of all those people was TERRIFYING.

Q: What was your favorite bill to debate and why?

A: I personally only got up to talk once on this bill, but everyone on both sides was so passionate about what they were talking about that it was just a lot of fun. Actually there are two. The first was the tampon (*gasp*) tax repeal, and the other was the one where the guy wanted to put a limit on the amount of people that could move to Wyoming per year. The amazing Lyndsie [Ludwig] went up and proposed that we got rid of the whole bill and just build a wall around Wyoming, and people were all for it. It was nuts.

 

Chance Blankenship// Senior

Q: What insights did Jr. Leg. give you into government?

A: Things take a LOT of time, and nobody ever has the same viewpoint.

Q: What did you enjoy most?

A: Lunch… and I guess supervising the debates was pretty interesting.

Q: What was the most difficult part?

A: Dealing with Big Piney. That’s it.

Q: What was your favorite bill to debate and why?

A: The bill on net neutrality. There was a ton of debate on that one, especially from “Senate Floor Representative Toomer” from Cokeville. Listening to everyone’s different viewpoints was really cool.

 

Allyson Lytle// Senior

Q: What insights did Jr. Leg. give you into government?

A: It definitely showed me exactly what the government takes and why everything is so hard for them to pass.

Q: What did you enjoy most?

A: I probably enjoyed the actual debate because I am a debater, and that stuff is really fun to me. You can really tell when someone knows about the topic on hand and someone really doesn’t.

Q: What was the most difficult part?

A: I think the most difficult part was actually taking the other points made into consideration because of my own personal beliefs.

Q: What was your favorite bill to debate and why?

A: My favorite bill was probably the tampon tax because it provided a lot of debate and really showed me what government is all about.

 

Jackson Day// Junior

Q: What insights did Jr. Leg. give you into government?

A: A majority of the time, people don’t ACTUALLY know what they’re talking about. And it’s funny when you call them out on it.

Q: What did you enjoy most?

A: It was fun to get to go on a trip with everyone in Jr. Leg. They’re all really neat people, and I enjoyed getting to know them better.

Q: What was the most difficult part?

A: Cooperating to get amendments and bills passed in general.

Q: What was your favorite bill to debate and why?

A: I liked the death sentence one because the debate got really heated. The spectrum of arguments is so wide, and that’s what makes it interesting.

 

Lyndsie Ludwig// Senior

Q: What insights did Jr. Leg. give you into government?

A: There’s a lot of paperwork, and it takes a lot of time to pass bills.

Q: What did you enjoy most?

A: Passing my own amendment on building a wall around Wyoming.

Q: What was the most difficult part?

A: Hearing the people form Cokeville and Big Piney talk.

Q: What was your favorite bill to debate and why?

A: The amount of people allowed to move to Wyoming per year being limited to 5,000 people because I proposed the wall amendment which passed, bu then we killed the bill because it was honestly kind of really stupid.

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Jr. Legislators Get All up In People’s Business