Senators Break out into Committees

The second session of the Legislature involved many heated debates in order to priorities the most pressing issues by each committee. Committee Chairmen were elected to head each of the five committees and the Committee Secretary was in charge of reading aloud each bill on the table and amending any necessary changes to the bill if the committee chose to do so. Each committee had the responsibility of prioritizing their top three bills to move on to General File, where debate will take place regarding all of the priority bills.

Senator Nick Koehler is deep in discussion with his Committee regarding a bill to enhance the state education platform.

The second session ended by moving in to General File and debating our first two bills. Our Legislative session has the privilege of having 2016 Boys Nation Vice President, Choteau Kammel, to assist in showing our current Boys Staters the proper way each bill will be debated. There were some very heated debates and opinions expressed in our first two, but ultimately both of those bills were turned down, and for the time being, tabled indefinitely.

Senator Peter Owens debates the Internet Sales Tax bill in which he authored.

Our Senators are very excited to spend an entire afternoon debating the rest of the priority bills in General File at this time!

 

 

 

Many Look to Legislature to Pass Landmark Legislation

By: Peter Owens
The Government of Cornhusker Boys State is poised to begin active service after a year of recess. Returning from the previous session is Governor Ruben Aguilar, a graduate of Lincoln North Star High School. Joining him will be the newest delegation of the Cornhusker Boys State Legislature, who will soon begin to campaign in each of their individual towns. Together, they will debate, pass, and ultimately sign a plethora of new legislation into the law books of this great state.
Many groups from all across the state will be looking to pass legislation on a number of issues. These issues range from the death penalty to the legalization of marijuana, to the manner in which Boys Staters are tucked into bed each night.
The Death Penalty is poised to be a object of large contention at this years Boys State. After a November ballot measure overturned the previous ban of the practice legislators on both sides of the issue will seek to address this issue. The argument in many cases boils down to public safety for many supporters of the action. They argue that the death penalty is needed to punish the most heinous of crimes, as well as provide further punishment while in prison to protect the safety of prison guards, especially after the prison riots that have taken place in the Nebraska prison system. Detractors argue that the death penalty does not actually work to stop people from committing these crimes, and that life in prison is an adequate sentence in almost every case. Another key issue is the scarcity of the lethal injection drugs needed to execute a sentence.
The legalization of marijuana is a debate that has begun in almost every state across the country. States like Colorado and Washington, among others have legalized recreational marijuana while even more have legalized just medical marijuana. The argument for this proposition rest mainly on the personal liberties of the citizens of the state. They argue that the state should not put people in prison for using a drug that does little to actively hurt anyone else, especially when drugs like alcohol are widely abused and legal. They opposition show the negative affects that marijuana has on the brain, especially in those still developing. The societal affects, they argue, far outweigh the threat to liberty argued by the supporters.
Lastly, the legislature looks set to debate the “nighty-night” bill once again. This landmark piece of legislation will shape the way that the Boys Staters interact with their counselors for the entire week. The act of tucking each Boys Stater into bed will create a lasting sense of community and ensure that not Boys Staters are engaged in any kind of illicit nocturnal activities. The opposition to this legislation again rests in the debate of personal liberties, as some argue it is a breach of privacy.
In the end, the Cornhusker Boys State government will elect legislators to debate these key issues. The democratic process that is at the bedrock of our nation will work to solve the issues between the citizens of our state and the legislature will vote to pass meaningful legislation.

Opening Legislative Session

The 77th Cornhusker Boys’ State Legislative session opened up with a very informative and productive session featuring Senator Kate Bolz. This is her 3rd straight appearance discussing many pointers, mainly how a bill is drafted and worked through all the way in to legislation. She also discussed some very interesting topics, including her route to becoming a politician, and gave some pointers on how to compromise with Senators whom have differing views.

Senator Kate Bolz of the 29th Legislative District

 

Our second session of the day included electing our Legislative Leadership; the Speaker of the House, Clerk, Sergeant at Arms, and Chaplain. We had many individuals who expressed interest, shared experience, and demonstrated their passion and backgrounds to get them elected. Those getting elected include:

Speaker of the House:  Leon Linhart      Gettysburg
Clerk:                               Blake Riley        Belleau Wood
Sergeant at Arms:        Kevin Downs     Belleau Wood
Chaplin:                          Max Nemec        Manilla Bay

Speaker of the House: Leon Linhart, Gettysburg

We ended our second session of the first day by breaking in to committees, where we will resume our next session at. Senators have over 100 bills to sort through and coordinate with the correct committee in order to get our top 3 priority bills per each committee.

Below is a roster of our 2017 Senators for the 77th Legislative Session of Cornhusker Boys State.

Bunker Hill:   Luke Peter, Jaden Feeney, Vasili Sgourakis, Garrett Savick, Brette Petersen, Bryce McClaren

Valley Forge:  Gregory Kipp, Ambrose Bykerk, Jacob French, Nathan Weidner, Ryan Chapman, Ryan Kisker

Yorktown: Kade Wehrs, Grant Moody, Oliver Borchers-Williams, Max Hansen, Colton Thompson, Brent Lucke

Gettysburg:  Thomas McFarland, Jose Vazquez, Jake Sykora, Leon Linhart, Michael McClellen, Daniel Fu

Alamo:  Nicholas Koehler, William Stout, Alexander Porter, Samuel Johnson, Grant Hallstrom, Isaac Stallbaumer

Manila Bay: Kaleb Kindler, Max Nemec, Ross Adkins, Joel Moeller, Wesley Wach, Caleb Sudbeck

Bataan: Peter Owens, Noah Anderson, Noah Keck, Colby Sluka, Ethan Carlson, Riley Mrvicka, Shane Feller

Belleau Wood:  Jack Kohl, Kevin Downs, Logan Greenlee, Blake Riley, Galdino Guzman, Ehric Strope

The State of the State and a Legislative Review

The Boys’ State Legislature entered its second session with a brief prayer from Chaplin Meckel followed by hearing Governor James Moseman’s State of the State Address. He asserted that the foster care system needed an overhaul, and that young people are shying away from the political process among many other things, hoping to set the tone of the legislative session to come. He presented positive points such as low unemployment and high profits from commodities, but also mentioned negatives such as problems as the low retention rate of Nebraska colleges. Following the governor’s speech, the legislature divided into committees to discuss bills that had been presented; an estimated 96 bills have been given to the legislature so far. Representatives from the Pro Life PAC, the Agriculture PAC, and the Gun Bro’s (sic) discussed bills that they had given to members of the legislature to present.

The Legislature moved to the long awaited General File phase of the legislative process. The first bill that was brought before the body was the Energy Deregulation Act calling for the allowing of private energy companies to provide services to parts of the state that were previously regulated by a public provider. This would’ve been done in hopes that the competition would drive prices down, but the bill was killed. The second bill was a bill outlawing the transportation of Marijuana from Colorado into Nebraska and established a fine for doing so. A couple amendments were added to the bill, but in the end it was killed. A third bill was one advocating for a commission to put those incarcerated for marijuana use to be given other options besides jail-time, in order to relieve prison overcrowding. This bill was passed. The last bill the legislature considered yesterday was one that gave those given life sentences the option to be killed instead. This was the Unicameral’s first day using Parliamentary Procedure, and it was a productive one.

Several bills that made it out of committee were then presented to the general legislature for discussion. Once committees amended and approved their first, second, and third ­priority bills, they were discussed in order first of priority and second by committee number. Bills LB105, LB100, LB99, and LB25. Bills LB105, LB99, and LB25 were tabled; LB100 was filed to select.

On the docket for the Thursday Meeting is LB10, LB69, LB40, and LB102.

The Legislature moved to the long awaited General File phase of the legislative process. The first bill that was brought before the body was the Energy Deregulation Act calling for the allowing of private energy companies to provide services to parts of the state that were previously regulated by a public provider. This would’ve been done in hopes that the competition would drive prices down, but the bill was killed. The second bill was a bill outlawing the transportation of Marijuana from Colorado into Nebraska and established a fine for doing so. A couple amendments were added to the bill, but in the end it was killed. A third bill was one advocating for a commission to put those incarcerated for marijuana use to be given other options besides jail-time, in order to relieve prison overcrowding. This bill was passed. The last bill the legislature considered yesterday was one that gave those given life sentences the option to be killed instead. This was the Unicameral’s first day using Parliamentary Procedure, and it was a productive one.

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