The legislative session has officially begun which is always an exciting time of the year. One of my 2015 New Year’s resolutions is to keep you more informed about what is happening at the Statehouse. That is why, I wanted to provide you with some information about a great opportunity for students to get involved this session, which is the House Page Program.
This program is a great way for students to learn the ins-and-outs of state government while having the opportunity to meet with various elected officials. Since students are already taking classes on government, this program offers a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective to supplement what they are learning.
While paging, not only are students able to observe the incredible architecture at the Statehouse, but they are also able to tour locations like the governor’s office, the House Chamber, which is where I work, and the Indiana Supreme Court to list a few. Pages are also able to watch floor sessions, listen to committee hearings and even help out the Statehouse staff.
Students between the ages of 13 and 18 are eligible to page, and although given an excused absence from school, they are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Statehouse. Students are asked to select two dates, just in case their first choice date is full, and to schedule their visit between the second week of January through April 29.
This is such a rewarding experience and provides students with a firsthand perspective of how a bill becomes law and the overall democratic process taking place. Each session, I look forward to meeting all the student pages from our community that participate in the program. I have been told many times from previous pages that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that they will never forget. In fact, some of the pages even go on to intern here at the House when they are in college.
I would encourage any interested students to schedule their visit to the Statehouse as soon as they can because spots tend to fill up fast. If interested, please do not hesitate to call the Page office at 1-800-382-9841 or sign up online at http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/off_cms/page.html.
I encourage students to schedule their visit either Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, which are the best days to page since the House is in session. There are no pages on Fridays because lawmakers typically head home for the weekend to host town halls or return to their full-time jobs.
My hope is that this program inspires students to get involved and think about how they can make a difference to improve our communities. We have the best and brightest students in our community, and I always enjoy meeting those that take advantage of this incredible program.
Rep. McNamara (R-Mount Vernon) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties. She serves as the Vice Chair of Courts and Criminal Code Committee and is a member of Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction Committee.