Representative Daniel P. Reilly (R-District 72 Middletown, Portsmouth) invited Portsmouth Middle School students to the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday, for a mock session in the Rhode Island House Chamber.

“It was so exciting to see local eighth grade students take a genuine interest in learning how our state government works.  Today, I played the role of Speaker of the House leading the session while students presented a bill they came up with during class, regarding driving while using cell phones.  The students successfully debated and voted on their bill, all in a very professional manner.  I was very impressed with all of the students.  Who knows, a future lawmaker or Speaker of the House could be sitting in this very room,” said Reilly.

The mock bill Portsmouth Middle School students voted on, whether or not cell phones should be prohibited while driving.  The mock bill passed 27 to 15.

Reilly added, “hosting a mock session gives students an opportunity to understand how lawmakers make and pass laws, and what it actually feels like to sit in their chair and go through the entire process.  I hope today inspired these young Rhode Islanders to either run for elected office when they come of age, or participate somehow in the democratic process which is a privilege.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).