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[R33] Celebrating 40 years of the Model Legislature
Start Date: 10/3/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/3/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with students from Winchester High School who were visiting the Statehouse for the 40th anniversary of the Eastern Indiana Model Legislature. 

This program is designed to teach students about the legislative process by allowing them to actively participate in it. In doing so, the students engage in frank discussions of what they feel are the most pressing issues facing our state and local governments.

In each participating school, a maximum number of 30 students are able to take part in the program. Because they imitate the Indiana General Assembly, the Indiana State Constitution is used as a guideline to determine the legislature’s power- power that is restricted only by the Constitution of the United States and federal laws enacted thereunder the Constitution.

Each session, the group assigns seven pieces of legislation as Senate bills and 10 as House bills.  A few examples of bills introduced by the students during the 2012-2013 session included a bill to prohibit elementary school lunches from having more than 633 calories, a bill to eliminate corporate incomes taxes imposed on small businesses and a bill to require the right-of-way at rural intersections be maintained in such a way that the visibility is not impaired.  

I was also able to review legislation from as far back as the 1984-1985 session. That year, the Model Legislature introduced legislation to allow for lotteries in Indiana and to provide farmers with a tax exemption on equipment used directly for no-tillage and minimum tillage farming.  

Not only are these students learning firsthand how the government works but they are also developing the critical thinking and problem solving skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, they are learning an invaluable lesson which cannot be taught, only learned: a deep appreciation of the goals, values and ideals of the American way of life. 

The American political system is unlike any other and each generation has the responsibility of passing that belief onto the next. You’ve probably heard it said that, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” As a state legislator, who has been serving the people of District 33 for 9 years, it warms my heart to see a program such as this, helping to ensure that our system lives on in the hearts of our young ones. 

I cannot express enough how impressed I am by the students’ knowledge of the legislative process as well as their eagerness to learn more. I look forward to seeing this program continue to grow and evolve as future classes come and make it their own. This is an excellent opportunity and I wouldn’t be surprised if not too long from now, one of these students had a seat in the real Legislature.

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Courtney Scott
Phone: 317-234-9006
Email: Courtney.Scott@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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