Burgers and fries and other fast food would be taxed for education.
D students would have to have boost their grades before they could graduate.
Teen drivers would have to wait a year after getting their driver’s licenses before they could drive other teens.
Who wants to make it harder to eat out, graduate and go out on dates?
It’s the 14- to 18-year-old members of the Nevada Youth Legislature, each of whom is appointed by their state senator to represent the 21 Senate districts.
Like their adult role models, they will debate the merits of 18 bill proposals today during a teleconference meeting between the Sawyer Building in Las Vegas and the Capitol in Carson City.
The teen legislators also want better school lunch options for vegetarians. They want to make budget cuts to sports programs more equitable so smaller sports, such as tennis and swimming, aren’t sacrificed for more popular sports such as football and basketball.
Out of these many ideas, the Youth Legislature will have to choose one bill proposal to present to the Legislature during its next regular session in the spring of 2011.
Because the youth will play a part in drafting legislation, they need to settle on one idea early so they can put the bill into the proper legislative language and lobby their cause.
“They mirror what we do,” said state Sen. Valerie Wiener, D-Las Vegas. “They take this all very seriously.”
The adult politicians appear to be listening.
In the 2009 session, the Legislature and the governor enacted a bill originally proposed by the Nevada Youth Legislature. It was Senate Bill 77, which allows public schools to set up teen mentor programs so older students can mentor younger students.
Wiener said the Youth Legislature wanted to do something to alleviate student apathy at their schools.
As part of their duties, teen legislators must host town hall meetings in their districts. Wiener said some were discouraged that few students were showing up.
But Zhan Okuda-Lim, 16, got a turnout of more than 30 students at a recent town hall at Green Valley High School in Henderson. Zhan was appointed by Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson, for Senate District 5.
One student complained to him about teachers giving away extra credit to students who bring in school supplies, such as paper towels for science labs.
“We’re buying our extra credit instead of working for it,” Leanna Ranieri, 15, said during the town hall.
Zhan noted after the town hall that it already is against Clark County School District policy to “pay for grades.”
In recognition of the state budget crunch, Zhan is proposing a bill to create a “rainy day fund” to help pay for education during times of economic crisis.
Contact reporter James Haug at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-374-7917.