Youth take over state Legislature

Posted February 14, 2009 10:51 a.m. EST
Updated February 16, 2009 11:10 a.m. EST

— Some young, future lawmakers took over the North Carolina General Assembly this weekend.

Nearly 1,000 teens from across the state were in Raleigh for the annual YMCA N.C. Youth Legislature Conference.

Among the topics up for discussion was the $787 billion federal stimulus package passed Friday by Congress.

“We can start over and start bringing our economy back up,” 16-year-old Zach Romeo said. 

“That is a lot of money when you think about it,” 16-year-old Joan Villarreal said.

“But I really think it is worth it. The outcome of it will pay off,” 14-year-old Kiyonna Morgan said.

The future lawmakers say it is their job to weigh in on what is happening in Washington, D.C., because it affects them too.

“As a 16-year-old looking for a job this summer, the economic stimulus is going to be a great benefit to me,” Korinne Dunn said.

“Obviously, we are going to have to work real hard to repay all this money,” Romeo said.

The conference is part of the national YMCA's national Youth & Government program for high school students. The program gives them the chance to develop leadership skills and to gain knowledge about public policy.