The last full day of Cornhusker Boys’ State includes a trip to the state capitol for the Boys State Unicameral Legislature. Traditionally, sessions are held in the historic Warner Chambers. Due to construction in 2022, the session was held in Hearing Room 1525.
By: David O’Connell
The main purpose of Boys’ State is for young men to learn about how the government works in the state of Nebraska. This idea finally started to appear early on the first morning in the weekly schedule when guest speaker Kate Bolz, representing the 29th district in the State Legislator, talked to a smaller division of boys elected to the State Legislator for the Boys’ State program.
Her presentation consisted of how she first began her career in government and how the unique system of a Unicameral Legislator in Nebraska works.
When Bolz first started to run as the District Legislator, she undertook lots of door knocking to reach out to voters, but because Nebraska has a Unicameral Legislature, she did not feel obliged to mention her political party when campaigning.
“I felt compelled that my talents would serve the citizens,” Bolz said.
Bolz had past experience in organizations involved with Down Syndrome and children’s Medicare funding and used her experience to entice voters.
Moreover, Bolz declared that she is a registered Democrat, but said that it did not matter in the capitol because it is a non-partisan legislator and that there is no majority or minority leader. In addition, she stated that there is no caucus for legislators running.
She further explained that the people of Nebraska act as the second house to the Unicameral Legislator by having citizens voice their concerns to senators. Because in a bicameral legislator, both houses have to approve a bill in order for it to be passed, and in Nebraska’s case, the people can voice their approval to a bill.
Cornhusker Boys State is randomly divided into two political parties, Nationalists and Federalists. The two parties start with a blank platform. Party members work to adopt “planks” of the platform at their conventions. Following the party conventions, candidates for various state offices offered remarks and answered questions from thier fellow citizens. The primary election, for everything except Governor, will be held on Tuesday June 5th.
Sen. Kate Bolz visited Cornhusker Boys State on Monday. Sen. Bolz discussed the unicameral legislature and how it works. In addition, she discussed some current issues facing the legislature and took several questions from the delegates. Sen. Bolz is from Lincoln and represents the 29th district.