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General Assembly Rundown: Monday & Tuesday

By Iris Alvarez

Crowder City

American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State is halfway through the week and activities are in full swing. On Monday, members of the General Assembly were announced and sworn into office by MGS Gov. Cecilia Barton.

To commence the first meeting, the Senate and the House were separated. Positions of leadership were elected in both houses. House of Representatives leaders are as follows: Bridget Burns, Speaker of the House; Sophia Crimmins, Speaker Pro Tempore; Maiya Cote, Majority Floor Leader; Caelyn Wood, Minority Floor Leader; Laylah Doty, Chaplain; Hailey Burlingame, Clerk. Senate leaders are as follows: Ysabella Olsen, President Pro Tempore; Arianna Nuñez, Majority Floor Leader; Ryanna Hatfield, Minority Floor Leader; Samantha Hall, Chaplain; Sara Steinmetz, Sergeant-At-Arms; Kathryn Colvin, Secretary; Medha Narayan, Majority Whip; Chloe Davis, Minority Whip.

Nuñez, for her part, said she’s loved the MGS experience from the very beginning.

“Being surrounded by intellectual young women who have the same level of ambition to succeed and strive for more has made it feel like I have found a home away from home,” Nuñez said. “…If I could, I would do this all over again.”

After positions were earned, discussion began. Many girls agreed on an array of matters at ALA MGS including mealtimes, lack of rest, differences between Missouri Boys State and no drinking water in the dormitories. To change these things, the General Assembly and lobbyists have been working diligently to create and submit bills.

In the House, around 65 bills were submitted by lunchtime Tuesday. By 3:30 p.m. the same day, ALA MGS staff and House leadership accepted 12 for consideration. The representatives were divided into four equal groups and began discussing these accepted bills, asking questions and proposing amendments. The first bill discussed as a unified House was sponsored by Cronin City resident Patricia Kirtley. Her bill is about the expansion of religious services at ALA MGS. Many girls felt passionately about this bill and felt underrepresented, as only Catholic and Protestant services were offered on Sunday.

“It was cool that the bill my co-sponsors and I created was discussed first, but also very nerve racking,” Kirtley said. “It was a very good discussion though, and I am proud of all the girls in the House.”

Overall, General Assembly members have ventured bravely into the unknown. Energy and camaraderie in the chamber are at an all-time high.

“I was excited to come together with these amazing girls and make friendships even through our differences,” Lydia Cotten, of Covington City, said.

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