February 14, 2015

What Are You Leaving Behind?

Courtney Hersch
Sky Family Delegation

As the tall white building that we all have grown to love fades into the distance, you can’t help but reflect on the unforgettable memories and lessons of Florida Youth In Government. From District to Supreme Court, from Bowen to Williams, and from reporters to editors, YIG has helped us all grow and develop. The people that we met throughout these Assemblies have not only influenced our YIG experience, but also our lives.
I speak to those of us whose clocks have run out of time. Seniors, everything that you have hoped to accomplish, everything that you worked for, has been for something. You have all contributed to the success and fun of this year’s State Assembly.
“I would not change a single moment that I have had during Youth In Government,” Jacob Glasser, Chief Justice, stated. “It was by far one of the best experiences of my life.”
Even though our days at Youth In Government have come to an end, the memories that we have made and the legacies that we have left behind will live on forever. At the end of the day, I hope you realize that your legacy has influenced somebody. Nobody goes unnoticed.
“I want to leave behind hope and contribution to the future success of YIG,” Williams Representative, Sydney Eskin, stated. “I hope this program influences everybody as much as it has influenced me.”

As we seniors leave State Assembly for the final time, I challenge the younger delegates to be the best you can be. I challenge you to leave everything that you have worked for on the floor. At the end of the day, ask yourself: ‘What do I want to leave behind?’

A Brief History of Sine Die

Sydney Robinson
Suncoast Delegation
For those of us that have been in the Williams House and Senate, we are probably all familiar with the legendary “Sine Die”, or in layman terms, the toss of the handkerchief when the sessions adjourn on the final days of State Assembly.
Whether or not you’re aware of it, Sine Die actually has a somewhat rich history here in the Florida Capitol. The word translates in Latin to “without day,” but when a chamber adjourns sine die, it means that no such future meeting day has been set, and when this unique motion is made, a chamber ends its legislative session.  
The tradition of the handkerchief toss that we associate with sine die came into practice when the “hankie drop” was adopted. In bicameral systems it is proper practice for two chambers in session to adjourn sine die at the exact same time. In order for this to take place, each chamber needs to know when the gavel comes down in the other chamber. Back when Florida’s House and Senate chambers were at right angles to one another, the Sergeants-at-Arms of the two houses would simultaneously walk to the point of intercection and perform the “dropping of the hankies” at the same time. When the handkerchiefs of each chamber touched the floor, the Speaker and the President would know to bring down their gavels, ending each session sine die at the same time, thus keeping tradition.  
Its true that the “hankie toss” is no longer necessary because the chambers are no longer at right angles to one another, but this tradition is still practiced today as a reminder of its historic relevance and as a celebration of its unique position in the Legislature.

A Firm In Action

Ruchi Patel
Sky Family Delegation
Judicial delegates have been working very diligently on their cases and oral arguments. They have all spent several hours researching their cases, talking to attorneys, and preparing their oral arguments. Yesterday all delegates in Supreme Court presented their cases in front of the justices. After presenting both sides of the case several times, they waited to find out what firms would be moving on to the final round. After the results were presented at Governor’s Ball several firms were ecstatic to find out that they had moved on to the final round.
     One firm specifically, Firm G from Sky Family Delegation, was thrilled to hear their names being called out last night. Firm G included Autumn Adams-Jack, Priyanka Devaguptapu, and Payal Majmundar. They worked on the case of Bronah Cliff v Florida and represented the petitioner. They spent several hours researching and collaborating as a group before arriving to States. According to all three attorneys, they enjoyed the whole experience, especially “working together and being able to support each other in the courtroom.” They are happy to have made it so far, and I for one will be proud of them no matter what happens. I wish all firms the best of luck in the finals and I can’t wait to see what the final results!

Combining Bills: The Next Big Thing

Robyn Pliscott
Tampa delegation (Aletheia YIG)
Most delegates have their hands full with writing articles, presenting bills for State Assembly, giving briefs, and even helping fellow delegates with other bills.  However, some delegates perform together on the same bill, sharing both obligation and honor. Daniel Eisele and Nicole Gregory, two delegates representing the Tampa delegation, decided to combine their bills and present them together at State Assembly. Their bill required the labelling of all products that including GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredients.
    Their journey started at the PO/SO conference in late January. The two delegates were in the same chamber for committees and realized that their bills were essentially quite similar. After that, the delegates joined their bills for a side-by-side collation then made an agreement. Mr. Eisele’s bill was chosen as their ‘base’ bill, the bulk of which would be presented at State Assembly.
First committee was the first true test of their working relationship. They shared their research and statements, making sure that their material agreed and their interests aligned. Before presenting at Assembly, Mr. Eisele and Ms. Gregory wrote an amendment combining their bills. From there, they presented Williams House bill #3049 together, taking turns making opening and closing statements and answering NDTQs. “I don’t think either of us would have gotten as far if we’d done it separate,” Mr. Eisele said. “Nicole has definitely helped us get to where we are.”
The trip to the capitol wasn’t entirely smooth sailing. There were a lot of last-minute changes to the combined bill. Once they reached the Assembly, things went more smoothly. Mr. Eisele said, “If someone has the chance to combine bills, I would definitely recommend that they do it. It was a lot of fun working with Nicole, absolutely amazing.”
Mr. Eisele’s and Ms. Gregory’s bill originated in the Williams House. It passed easily and moved on to the Williams Senate, where it met with equal success. Friday afternoon, the delegates presented their bill before Governor Vollmer and the YIG Cabinet. They will learn if their bill passed the Cabinet on Saturday. Delegates Eisele and Gregory, we wish you the best of luck!