Jackson Attends 4-H Congress
Lee County 4-H member, Micah Jackson, participated in the Texas 4-H Congress held last week at the Texas State Capitol. Texas 4-H Congress, a premiere citizenship and leadership experience for Texas 4-H members between the ages of 15 and 18, allows 4-H members to experience the law making process first hand by writing, submitting, and then serving as a member of the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Press, or as a Lobbyist. From these roles, the 4-H members determine the fate of each bill submitted over the three-day event.
Micah served as a member of the House of Representatives, participating on the Highways and Transportations Committee. Texas 4-H Congress is one of only a few youth groups that have the opportunity to use the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives in the Texas State Capitol.
The Texas Constitution provides that “no law shall be passed, except by bill.” As a result, the bill is the exclusive means by which the legislature may enact, amend or repeal a statute. 4-H members are given the opportunity to walk a bill throughout the whole process. Because the Texas State Legislature meets for a period of several months, they have more time to dedicate to each bill. Due to the fact that Texas 4-H Congress is only 72 hours, the process that a bill follows is much abbreviated, but yet similar in some form.
4-H members attend sessions of the House. They participate in the bill presentation, helping the bills get passed or defeated. Those members speaking in debate of a bill are allowed three minutes in regular debate. In addition to his participation in the Highways and Transportations Committee, Micah also participated in the bill debates regarding the repeal sale of horse meat for human consumption, required recycling in public schools and the graduated fine schedule for motorcycle helmet safety.
House bills presented by the Highways and Transportations Committee included: ATV Usage on Public Roadways, Drivers under 18 Years Old Passenger Restriction, No Parking or Fishing Off Any Roadway Bridges, Multiple Intersection Safety, and Texting While Driving Motor Vehicles, just to name a few.
Micah was captivated by his experience, finding the debate portion very interesting. He is looking forward to the next session of Texas 4-H Congress. Through his participation at Texas 4-H Congress, Micah met both Texas Governor Rick Perry and House Representative John Kuempel of District 44. Micah is one Lee County 4-H’er that has certainly seen a different side of 4-H. Micah is the son of Patricia and Earl Jackson of Giddings and a member of the Giddings 4-H Club.