Platform releases, opening conventions, another homeless program area, and the beginnings of another successful Model Assembly.
Model Assembly 2016 began with a day full of exciting challenges. The Secretary of State’s office spent the day handling a long line of delegates in need of help. The majority of these students faced the problem of bill complications. A common first day issue for their office, SOS staff found a rhythm to the flow quickly, and were able to help each delegate efficiently.
Legislative branches began their committees, and held their first floor session. Sibley House’s most noted debate for the night was on Bill #2200, a bill that would allow teachers to conceal and carry in schools in an attempt to “promote the safety in our school districts”. After a heated debate, the entire committee voted it down.
The Sibley/Ramsey Education Finance committee held a long debate on Bill #1111, a bill to enact social emotional learning (SEL) in all classrooms. As this form of learning would require purchasing materials, funded by raising sales taxes, the committee was not entirely for the bill. While the idea was supported, the senate did not find the execution of it entirely sound.
Junior and Senior lobbyists spent their nights lobbying bills in committee sessions, and attended their respective dinners with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and their cabinets. These dinners focused on the objectives of the lobbyists, and the separate objectives of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor began their first days in office with no hesitation. Within a few hours in session, media had their hands on Yablonski and Blake’s platform. They held a press conference addressing their decision to release the document, stating that their goal is to be very inclusive with delegates this year, and are open to the opinions of others who hold different stances.
The courts, after a change to their original locations just days before Model Assembly, began strong. The Supreme Court was visited by a professional judge, who went through procedures of the official system with the delegates.
The court system was at first to spend their weekend at the University of Minnesota. After a rule change in sponsorship and funding for the school, which would have resulted in a higher cost for Youth in Government. As this was not an option, the program found an alternative path. The courts spent today at the hotel, and will be here again tomorrow. On Saturday and Sunday, they will move to the Hennepin County Court House. This isn’t a new location for Youth in Government though. Roughly ten years ago, delegates in the courts used that same building for their trials. Now, the new are returning to the old.
National Issues Forums spent their first night debating many heavy handed issues. The topic of gun control in general, as well as magazine capabilities in Proposal 120, and add on’s such as sound suppressors from Proposal 118 were considered. Other topics discussed were privatizing social security, and financing more resources for rape and sexual assault victims.
Our youngest delegates in Leadership Corps began their Youth in Government careers touring the judicial branch, participating in many ice breakers and team building exercises, and participating in a night much smoother than last year’s busing struggles, a Resource Adviser was relieved to report. One of the delegates reported that they are very excited to get into program areas.
Model Assembly began tonight, as it always does, with the promise of a weekend full of healthy, educated debate, hard hitting news, complicated court cases, and endless learning by each student and adult in attendance.
This article was written by Tori Miller, from Digital Media.