This afternoon, the delegates marched from Harper to the Nebraska State Capitol Building. The legislature met in the Old Senate Chamber, while the court appointees met with J. Kirk Brown, Solicitor General of Nebraska. Other delegates met with members of the offices that they have been elected to or involved with this week. All of the delegates were also given a general tour of and were allowed to explore the beautiful capitol building itself, including the stunning view from its top. Seeing the center of the Nebraska State Government brought home the lessons the delegates have learned throughout the week.
The Front Facade of Nebraska’s Stunning Capitol Building.
2011 Cornhusker Boys’ State Assembles on the Capitol Steps.
Court Appointees listen to Mr. Brown the the Court Chamber.
Legislators Debate their Bills and Resolutions.
The Namesake of Nebraska’s Capitol, President Abraham Lincoln.
This afternoon, the 2011 Boys’ State Unicameral met in the first floor of the HSS Dining Hall to begin debating bills. The delegates divided into committees and began reviewing the numerous bills submitted by Boys’ State delegates. Like the Boys’ State financial system, the Legislature takes advantage of a realistic, fully-electronic voting system.
Taking the race off the athletic field and onto the campaign trail, this year’s delegates swiftly started their fight for the offices of mayor, councilmen, and legislators, among others. The candidates can only hope that their strength and confidence will be enough to overcome the hurdles created by their peers’ tough questioning.
Campaigning in Belleau Wood
Legislative Campaigns in Manila Bay
“As the clerk of the legislature I have had first hand experience with all of the bills that have made it to the general file. Some of the bills that have been popular with the senators involved the elimination of abortion and the legalization of bottle rockets. Others, such as a new prison program did not fair as well. Along with myself we have a group of very promising legislative officers. Reigning as chaplain we have Reverend Isiah Bockleman, and at Speaker we have the honorable Nick Schreiner. Tomorrow we proceed to the select file, followed by the final reading [sic].”
Cody Fischer, Clerk of Senate
Brian Cain of Gettysburg wrote an update on legislature proceedings through today’s gathering.
The Boys’ State legislature’s session began by splitting into committees to read bills and either kill them or advance them to the general file. Sean Lindgren, a Boys’ Stater I spoke with, was assigned to the Government and Military Committee. One of the bills the committee debated and passed dealt with immigration amnesty for illegal aliens which would allow them to hold jobs if they also completed a number of hours of community service. Another was concerned with the government’s ability to use eminent domain with a few points to consider: the government would have to pay for the property they would leave behind, help with relocation, and assist the people being relocated in finding new jobs. Their final and likely most interesting bill was to have a dinner with the Girl Staters. Lindgren’s last statement left a final note in my head. The “committees had really heated debates,” he said.