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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Local seniors try their hand at government

  • Fourteen local high school seniors learned the ins and the outs of preparing legislation and the process of passing or defeating proposed bills Thursday at the 28th annual Steuben County Intern Simulated Session.

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  • Fourteen local high school seniors learned the ins and the outs of preparing legislation and the process of passing or defeating proposed bills Thursday at the 28th annual Steuben County Intern Simulated Session.
    Richard McCandless, a former intern coordinator, said more than 1,000 students have taken part in the summer mock legislative session.
    “It’s really just a wonderful program,” McCandless said. “It teaches the students to make better-informed decisions and foster citizenship.”
    The session is the end of a semester-long program, said Jim Gallagher, event coordinator.
    Students presented proposals and responded to questions from their classmates.
    Proposals included establishing a countywide tax incentive for properties using clean methods of energy production, creating grants for seniors attending Corning Community College and fixing county roads.
    Each senior designed bills around issues that concerned and affected them.
    Alexander Merry, of Canisteo Central School, entered a bill to fix County Route 98.
    “The road obviously needs to be rebuilt,” Merry said. “It’s in really bad shape.”
    Mikayla Lucas, of Bradford Central School, backed creating a program to show troubled teens what life in prison would be like.
    The law would put first-violation adolescents behind bars for 48 hours.
    “This program would be presented to a judge as an option,” Lucas said.
    All the 14 bills were adopted at the mock legislative session.
    Gallagher said the leadership training included workshops, conflict and resolutions and the legislative session.
    McCandless said current Steuben County Legislators Aaron Mullen, R-Avoca, and Scott VanEtten, R-Hornby, took part in the mock session when they were seniors in high school.
    “It provides an understanding of government,” McCandless said. “You never know where each student may go or what will happen, but it’s really great for all of the kids.”
    Area students taking part in the mock legislative session included: Andrew Smith, Addison; Johnathan Stanford, Avoca; Mikayla Lucas, Bradford; Kelsey Farrell, Avoca; Jacob Kula, Prattsburgh; Elizabeth Albright, Hammondsport; Eric Armstrong, Avoca; Kristyn Rutlege, Bradford; Alexander Merry, Canisteo; Lori Gordon, Hammondsport; Cheyenne Bonnewell, Avoca; Ashley Eberly, Avoca; Sydney Sprague, Hammondsport; and Dalton Mori, Hammondsport.

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