Happy New Year! As you know, I have been focusing on and getting ready for the upcoming legislative session, which begins January 7. My previous columns highlighted my initiatives for this session and the process of how a bill becomes a law. The House offers a unique opportunity for students to come to the Statehouse and see all of these moving parts in action through the House Page Program.
I always enjoy the opportunity to work with students from our district when they come to the Statehouse and to show them how the Legislature operates. I would encourage all local students between the ages of 13-18 years old to apply for the page program. Pages gain firsthand experience in working with the Legislature and getting to know difference public officials. I believe that the House Page Program is one of the best ways to learn about Indiana and how the Legislative branch functions. Who knows – it might even inspire a young student to become more involved in government!
I have had a wonderful experience getting to know previous pages. Many have talked about how their day at the Statehouse really brought to life what they were learning about in school. From seeing all of media outside of the House chambers to all of the legislators gathering on the House floor, the sights and sounds of the legislative session is a memorable opportunity for any young person. It truly is an educational and fun experience for students.
Along with visiting the capitol building and touring such locations as the governor's office, the chambers of the Indiana House and Senate and the Indiana Supreme Court, pages are able to witness floor sessions and committee meetings and help staff members.
Students who serve as pages are excused from school for the day, but I must note that they are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Statehouse.
If you are an interested student, please schedule your visit quickly as spots fill up fast. Pages are asked to include two different dates when they can come to the Statehouse between January and April. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to serve because that is when the House is in session. There are no pages on Fridays. To sign up, visit www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/off_cms/page or call 1-800-382-9841.
I look forward to the start of session and getting to meet some of the students in our district. I hope everyone is eligible will apply for the page program and take full advantage of this opportunity.