BOWLING GREEN - Last week, a local Buckeye Boys State delegate said he had enjoyed nightly assemblies, a memorial flag service and a State Highway Patrol service. He said he had taken his freedom for granted, and the ceremonies gave him a newfound respect for what State Highway Patrol and veterans do.
Kyle Ink, a senior at New Riegel High School, said Buckeye Boys State had been a life-changing experience, and he never is going to forget the boys he met and the lessons he learned.
"I'm always (going to) remember Boys State," he said.
According to the Buckeye Boys State website, the program is a nine-day hands-on experience focusing on the operation of the democratic form of government, the organization of political parties and their relationship in shaping Ohio government. The program was June 11 through Sunday at Bowling Green State University.
Ink was the bill clerk for the House of Representatives. He said he lost when he ran for a House of Representatives seat and had to go through an interview to become the bill clerk.
Ink was appointed to the job by two American Legion commissioners and had to receive all the bills the representatives created, assign them numbers and pass them on to a committee.
"I do revisions myself," he said last week.
Ink also had to keep track of committee reports and do paperwork.
"I've learned a lot about the process. ... I've actually very much enjoyed my job," he said.
Some of the issues representatives discussed were civil unions, tax breaks, green energy and sales, homeschooling and estate taxes. The process is time-consuming, Ink said.
"These things do take a lot of time," he said.
Sam Howard, a senior at Columbian High School, served as the assistant majority floor leader in the House of Representatives.
"I knew I wanted to run for the House of Representatives," he said.
Howard said the first time the representatives were together, he felt like becoming the assistant majority floor leader was a good thing to do, and he wanted to be as involved as possible. He became fourth in line for the speaker of the House.
He also served on the House's rules committee, which had the power to kill any bill and relegated each bill to its respective committee.
Howard said he always has been interested in the House of Representatives at the state and national levels, and Buckeye Boys State showed him the misconceptions he had for the office, how hard representatives have to work and how tedious the process is.
"A big issue (we dealt with) was the death penalty," he said.
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