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Students in Ms. Alwood’s, Mr. Quarto’s, and Mr. Donaldson’s American Government classes staged the Gulf High School Model Congress today, complete with speeches, votes, and committees. The Senate met in the chorus room, and the the House of Representatives met in the band room.

In an email to the faculty at the end of the day, Ms. Alwood wrote, “The first GHS Model Congress was a great success and the seniors were awesome – they looked like professionals (a large majority) and they acted like professionals. You would have been very proud of your students!”

Last week 72 bills were written and voted on in committee. Today the two houses considered 47 bills on their respective floors, broke for lunch, and went back into committees to consider the 22 bills that were passed in one house. Bills passed out of committee were then voted on during that house’s floor vote. Eleven bills passed both houses and went to President Samantha Beckman for her consideration. She vetoed two, and signed the following bills:

Civil unions for gay adults (a compromise between the two sides of the issue bill proposed by Congresswoman Housel)
Reducing waiting period for death row inmates (Congressman Lambert)
Reinstating poker tournaments in legal poker rooms (Congresswoman Bahr)
Strict Enforcement of Thorough Investigation of Government Fund Recipients (Congresswoman Bellinger)
Child Abuse Reunification Act, to protect children from being removed from one abusive family and placed into another (Congresswoman Hayes)
New tracking system and personal device to track rapists (Senator Brazil)
Honoring Fallen Heroes Act to restructure a death gratuity to families and provide life insurance for military personnel killed on active duty (Senator Myers)
Preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Senator Valdes)
Income tax exemption for those age 18 and under (Senator Donaldson)

Officers of the House who led the meeting were: Speaker, Bryan Clum; Majority Leader, Katie Schwener; Minority Leader, Heather Martin; Sergeant at Arms, Matt Krysanda; Clerk, Robert Tulba. Senate officers were: VP/President of the Senate, Morgan Reeves; President Pro-Tem, Ernesto Valdes; Clerk, Emily Burns; Sergeant at Arms, Daniel Pereira.