By: Nick McConnell
City Council and School Board meetings were held across the Boys’ State program on Wednesday. City Council meetings ran smoothly, with many ordinances passed. One stumbling block for some towns, however, was time spent on special elections to re-elect positions belonging to winners of higher offices. However, those elections generally ran smoothly all throughout Harper Hall, and mock governmental work resumed without a hitch.
Alamo and Yorktown, for example, passed three ordinances each. Some towns were considerably less productive. Manila Bay passed zero ordinances. In fact, no ordinances were even proposed, which is an unimpressive number for the time allotted.
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!
Senators in the Cornhusker Boys’ State Unicameral are working hard to craft and debate legislation .
Lt. Governor Mike Foley was the keynote speaker at the Wednesday joint session of Boys’ and Girls State. Lt. Governor Foley addressed the students and answered their questions. Prior to the keynote address, the band and chorus performed for the 800 students in attendance. University of Nebraska coaches Amy Williams, Bob Diaco, and John Cook shared words of encouragement.
After a morning session including an explanation of the opportunities in a legal career, the judicial candidates finally got down to brass tacks, or in this case, white powder. The group was divided into four sections, and each was given a primary briefing of the case on which they would participate. The basic facts of the crime presented were that three criminals conspired in an attempt to sell a kilogram of cocaine. After being arrested, they faced time in prison ranging from six to thirty years depending on their previous crimes, misdemeanors, and felonies. The mock defense attorneys’ job was to negotiate a plea deal that would result in the least amount of jail time as possible. The prosecuting attorneys’ job, however, was the exact opposite; their goal was to get the most amount of jail time for the criminals as possible. After a description of the goals, one mock attorney from each of the four groups joined into a trail group to negotiate sentences. The final sentences ranged from no time served to thirty years in prison, a true representation of the actual ranges of real-life crimes.