If your teenager is like mine, chances are they look for an excuse to miss a day of school from time to time. They probably don’t often get their wish, however the House Page Program offers a day out of school that both students and parents can agree on!
In reality, the page program is so much more than a day out of the classroom as it provides the type of knowledge that a textbook simply cannot offer on its own. Students may read about the Statehouse in history books, but nothing can prepare you for its immense size, majestic rotunda, or the buzz that fills its hallways during a day of session.
Each year, the House Page Program invites students from across the state, between the ages of 13 and 18, to Indianapolis to be a part of the action for a day. Students have the opportunity to experience a committee hearing where bills are vetted prior to being presented on the House floor. This coming session, I will be serving as Chairman of the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, and will also serve on the Financial Institutions and Public Policy committees.
After committee hearings have concluded, students will then have the opportunity to join us on the House floor and watch a live session. Throughout the day, pages also get to tour other interesting spots throughout the Statehouse, including the governor’s office and Supreme Court, and play a key role in helping legislative staff with the daily tasks that keep us all on schedule. In addition, students are given one-on-one time with their respective state representative - something I look forward to each year!
If this is something your child would be interested in, you can apply online at the Indiana House Republicans website or by phone at 1-800-382-9841. This year is a short session because we do not have to prepare a budget. That means session only runs for 10 weeks, so spots fill up quickly!
I think it is extremely important that we give students an opportunity to get involved in the legislative process at a young age and see firsthand how bills are crafted, discussed and presented before the general public. It is imperative that they understand exactly how a bill becomes a law and how the separation of powers work so that they know how they are being represented. In order for a representative republic to prevail, we must teach our youth from a young age why this system is valuable and instill in them not only the desire to remain active participants in the system but also the knowledge to know how.
I look forward to the opportunity to meet more bright young minds from District 63 in the upcoming session, and I commend you in advance for taking the initiative to get involved in our state government. The future is in your hands, and it is never too early to start preparing!