Students in 4-H from across Utah participate in mock legislature at State Capitol

Posted at 10:05 PM, Apr 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 00:05:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Members of 4-H from across the state took part in the 27th annual mock legislature this week.

Participants go through the entire legislative process, and more than 100 students took part in the mock legislative session.

The students presented or sponsored bills, presenting them in committee and either passing or rejecting them on the House floor. Craig Dart, an assistant director for Utah 4H at Utah State University said it provides valuable hands-on experience.

“Our motto in 4-H is learn by doing, and so by actually coming here on the House floor and going through the actual process, not talking about it but actually doing it, they gain a richer experience and a better understanding of the legislative process,” he said.

The mock legislators picked 15 bills, listing its top priority for the session as an amendment to Utah’s death penalty.

"We will then hear private use of drones, Senate Bill 211, next is hate crimes amendment, Senate Bill 107,” A student speaking from the floor announced.

The students who spoke with FOX 13 News said the experience was invaluable.

"I love having the hands-on experience of sitting on the floor and talking, talking with peers about current issues, and seeing what my peers' opinions are,” said Aurora Quinn of Weber High School.

They also said the process gives them a much better understanding of how the legal system works, which can be valuable no matter the field they enter.

"I think they're great foundational skills that you like just start to build early on, and that will help you later in your career,” said Chandler Ward, a Bingham High School Student. “Not even if you're in a career in politics, but understanding them as youth helps you be a better citizen."

The students said they're glad to understand how the government works, and how they can have an impact on future of the state.