By: Chloe Opelt
Bill presentations in the House started at 9 a.m. on January 28, 2017. During bill presentations, delegates can develop a sense of urgency to question bill authors, turn in pro/con slips, and present amendments. One complication is time, most actions in the House are timed due to the lack thereof. Additionally, there is a large amount of delegates participating in the 2016-2017 State Conference, all of which are eager to take part in the events of the day, thus proving it to be more difficult to find time to speak individually. These obstacles are a possible cause of tension between delegates.
Richard Philip from Leander High School Delegation was constantly taking initiative in the house, as well as asserting his opinions for the house to hear in multiple different forms. When asked about his stance on the tension in the house, Philip stated that “we will go and point out factual inaccuracies, and it tends to be very vicious at times, but the moment the meeting is adjourned, we’re all friends.” Philip expressed that “this is all for the sake of debate, as well as improvement of our familiarity of the government and legislative branch.” When asked about instances of verbal altercations, Philip commented by saying “there have been a few ad homonym arguments, but that’s about it, nothing serious.” Philip considers the conference “a totally friendly competition,” and has enjoyed “making friends throughout.”
The house consists of periods where different events take place, and depending on the period, tensions can rise. Bill authors get questions thrown at them like a baseball on a field. Amendment appeals come in high numbers, with not a lot of time to cycle through all of the propositions. In order to speak in front of the house, all delegates are given a chance to rise and proclaim “Mr. Chair” in order to get the chair’s attention, so they may be called upon to speak. Most events in the house require quick thinking and alertness. These characteristics are found often within the delegates positioned in the house, causing a whirlwind of tension to fly around while in session. Regardless of the competition, the Youth and Government program delegates tend to stay calm and keep it classy.