Some students at Richmond Hill High School recently got a first-hand look at the operation of Georgia’s Legislature and also had a chance to meet some of the state’s leaders.
On Tuesday, 19 members of the RHHS Young Republicans Club visited the capitol where they not only met Gov. Nathan Deal and State Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, but had the opportunity to witness several bills being passed.
One of the bills passed was HB 845, which requires early care and education programs to provide information on the influenza vaccine by Sept. 1 of each year. Club member Makenzie Garner said she enjoyed watching bills being passed, and believes this bill will be beneficial.
“This law will provide parents the important knowledge of the risks of having the flu and will hopefully raise the percentage — I believe it is 43 percent — of people who get a flu shot each year,” Garner said. “I used to work in a day care center, and my mother is a nurse, I am aware of how dangerous the flu can be. We all remember the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak in 2009.”
The students also spent over an hour with Carter, who answered questions about how a bill is passed through the senate, the house and signed into law by the governor.
Carter also answered questions from the students about the HOPE Scholarship, other state scholarship initiatives like REACH, the state’s newest needs-based scholarship program, and vocational schools.
Club member Jameson Cunningham said learning more about the HOPE scholarship and other educational things was beneficial to him.
“I had a concern regarding grade point averages are determined in regards to advanced courses,” Cunningham said. “I was glad to hear that AP (Advanced Placement) and honors courses are weighted for the HOPE scholarship. This means all of the AP courses I took in high school will pay off.”
Club advisor Russ Carpenter said the trip provided a great opportunity for the students to learn more about how government works.
“What the students learned through this experience was invaluable. To see state government in action, especially to observe bills being passed, was remarkable,” Carpenter said. “They were very engaged and asked serious questions of Senator Carter, who spent over an hour with us.”