– To encourage civic engagement and help students understand the legislative process, state Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) gave local students the opportunity to be a “Rep for the Day” during a mock legislature event he hosted Thursday in Bucks County.
Nearly 50 high school seniors from Neshaminy and Centennial school districts chose to participate in the program, which took place at Neshaminy High School.
“You will each be prepared to help make a big difference in your country, state and community simply because you are aware of how the legislative process works and understand how it could affect you and your family, and you know where or whom to go to voice your concerns or ask questions,” said Farry.
The event began with opening remarks from Farry about the legislative process and an explanation of parliamentary procedure by former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.
Students then split up into five standing committees (Consumer Affairs, Gaming Oversight, Health, Judiciary and Transportation) to debate legislation modeled after real bills that have been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Volunteer staffers and real-life lobbyists helped guide students through the debate and amendment process before voting on whether or not to send the bills for consideration during the mock general session of the House of Representatives.
“The students got really engaged in the process of offering and debating amendments. It was encouraging to see them so interested in these issues,” Farry said. “Oftentimes, they were having the same discussions about an issue that we had about a bill during real committee meetings.”
After lunch, the students gathered for a mock general session of the House of Representatives led by Farry. Ten bills were considered by the full group of student “representatives.”
Issues considered included legislation to require the audio recording of students on school buses, the legalization of firework purchases by Pennsylvania residents; gaming expansion measures, an indoor tanning ban for minors under age 16; and changes to the driver’s license attainment process, among others.
The session ended with closing remarks from Farry about the slow and deliberate nature of the legislative process, compromise and treating others who may have differing opinions with respect.
“One thing that is really getting lost in the world today is the ability to work together through partisan differences and agree to disagree respectfully,” Farry said to the group. “I hope throughout this process you all learned the importance of that, and that government doesn’t function well without it.”
To encourage civic engagement and help students understand the legislative process, state Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) gave local students the opportunity to be a “Rep for the Day” during a mock legislature event he hosted Thursday in Bucks County. Nearly 50 high school seniors from Neshaminy and Centennial school districts participated in the program.
Representative Frank Farry
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam