Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update… By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

For many of you this is a busy time of year. As a teacher this time of year is full of activities and the push for maximizing learning. For the last several years in West Virginia Studies, eighth graders have participated in a mock legislature. Students learn by doing. They create ideas for bills, introduce, debate, and vote on the purposed legislation, serve as leaders in the “House’ and “Senate.” Our student council president serves as our governor” who may sign, veto, or let the bill become law without her signature. Bill topics ranged from lowering the age for driving permits to 14 years, making changes to the school’s food menus, and changing the daily school schedule with a four-day school week.
Many wanted to return vending machines and naptime to school. Students also wanted to have access to free tutors. Most poignantly, students supported the availability of mental health professionals to help students with mental health issues. Students also debated controversial issues like gun control, abortions, and the legalization of marijuana. I was able to share with them that many of their ideas and concerns are currently being addressed in our state’s legislature. Seeing the process through their eyes is interesting and inspiring to me. I was proud of them for engaging in the process and asking great questions. I have a group of students who have taken up an issue and are working on it outside of class. I am excited to help them and to see how it turns out.
Interim meetings will be held this week in joint sessions with the Senate in committees that include Economic Development and Tourism, Education, and Health and Human Resources. I look forward to working jointly and preparing for the upcoming session.
I had the pleasure of getting out in the community on Saturday by helping “Make Gassaway Shine.” Members from Braxton Middle and High Schools Future Business Leaders of America, Gassaway Women’s Club, and families from Gassaway helped to pick up trash through the town and the Elk River Trail. Working together is fun and I am thankful for each one that gave their time to do some good.
I celebrated Mothers’ Day a bit early with my mother, Doris, and the one that made me a mother, my darling daughter Hannah, by attending a Dutch Masters Flower Workshop in Glenville at Morning Glory Flowers. The shop owner, Tamara Hough, and her daughter, Lauren, shared history and flower arranging techniques. We took home beautiful arrangements. It was an inspiring and lovely evening spent with some wonderful people.
As I drive around the district, I am grateful for the businesses that have been the foundation of our communities, and I celebrate the creative and brave endeavors of others who have launched a new business. When possible, I encourage you to support our small