Laying Down the Law

For 60 days, give or take, legislators pass the bills that affect our lives, so what would happen if ten-year-olds took over the reins of power for a day?

According to the Florida State Constitution, legislators must be at least 21 years of age to pass the laws that govern our lives. On Tuesday morning some 5th graders took over and laid down some laws of their own.

The little lobbyists came to the capitol from Madison Academy to get a taste of political pie and their teacher says this experience is priceless.

"I think it brings government home to them, what it is in real life. That it's real people, not just some abstract idea that they read in a book. That it's real people and that they could possibly be one of these people someday too," says Loretta Mugge, a 5th grade teacher at Madison Academy.

For the kids from Madison Academy this is a special privilege, only a few classes get this opportunity during session and organizers hope it leads to a sense of civic duty.

"They understand how important they are to the lawmaking process, either through their votes as citizens or later becoming lawmakers," says Sharon Berrien of the Florida League of Cities.

For these young lawmakers political "spin" may be well into the future, but no matter where life takes them they can chalk this up as a true learning experience.

Besides the mock session, the students also got a full tour of the capitol.