By: Michael Steele
Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley started his career in Nebraskan Politics running for Senator. Eighteen years later, he is now our state’s Lt. Governor. During the 2018 Boys’ and Girls’ State Lt. Governor Foley came to discuss some of the more pressing issues in today’s government. He opened with discussing some of the recent accomplishments of the Nebraskan Unicameral, some of which were international trade talks for Nebraska agriculture products such as beef and works on a successful budget.
One of the noteworthy facts about this new budget is how comparable it is to those drafted by Boys’ Staters. All week the main solution given out by campers was to lower and raise different taxes, but what Lt. Governor Foley told the attentive listeners was the cutting of funds instead of raising taxes.
During questions, campers asked many of the issues discussed throughout the week. When the topic of Property Tax got brought up the Lt. Governor made it clear how those in Western and Central Nebraska, especially those affiliated with the agriculture business, need relief by having it lowered. The only thing in the way is the bickering within legislation in which a handful of senators can’t agree on one solution. He stressed how detrimental this is to the agriculture business in Rural Nebraska and Nebraska as a whole who rely on agriculture.
The hope is that those of you who are reading will be able to find the answer to this problem for Nebraska and can accomplish what politicians of today can’t.
Jane Kleeb of the Nebraska Democratic Party and Kenny Zoeller of the Nebraska Republican Party made presentations to Boys and Girls State. Following their remarks, they answered questions from the delegates. Each shared planks of their party’s platform and discussed the major issues of today.
Governor Ricketts took time out of his schedule to visit, one on one, with delegates at lunch.
The Thursday night talent show is always a hit at Boys State. Staters audition and are selected based on talent, entertainment value, and variety. This year, acts included piano, singing, magic, beatboxing, and an Elvis impersonation.
by: Matthew Wachtel
There are forty-nine different Boys State programs across the country that gather annually to educate rising seniors about their local and state governments. Each Boys State offers unique daily activities and hosts differing numbers of delegates. I interviewed Ben Lipson, from New Hampshire, and Yosua Siguan, from North Carolina, both of whom were Boys’ Staters in 2017 to learn about their experiences and compare it to my own.
First, a few similarities between the three. Cornhusker and New Hampshire Boys State both send their delegates to their state capitol building at the end of the week. North Carolina and Cornhusker Boys State have town, county and state elections. North Carolina and Cornhusker Boys State both have at least one sport. All three have newspapers to depict daily events. Beyond the daily activities of these Boys State programs, one major similarity between all three, that both Yosua Siguan and Ben Lipson touched on, is the massive gaining of knowledge and experience in the realm of politics and leadership. I, myself, can relate to this sentiment as Cornhusker Boys State has taught me a great deal about Nebraska issues and what form of leadership best fits my personality.
Next, the differences between the three. Cornhusker Boys State is actually the last state that holds joint sessions with its American Legion Auxiliary counterpart, Cornhusker Girls State. Also Cornhusker Boys State has four sports whereas North Carolina has just basketball and then New Hampshire has none. New Hampshire has 78 delegates attend, North Carolina has 250 and Cornhusker Boys State has 450. North Carolina Boys State has a speech contest. Additionally, before attending North Carolina Boys State you have to write a bill whereas at Cornhusker and New Hampshire Boys State you write bills when you get there. At New Hampshire’s program one big job of the executive office after they are elected is to pass a budget whereas North Carolina and Cornhusker Boys’ State both don’t pass a budget. The North Carolina session bills pass through a house and senate legislature then it must be approved by the governor and his cabinet. This is in contrast to the Cornhusker Boys State unicameral system.
Boys State programs differ throughout the country. In my interviews I learned that while they all might be different in certain aspects and the same in others they are all unique. The American Legion continues to politically socialize the youth of America and through their Boys State programs, young men from around the country can attest to the success of this mission.