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Talking Points

Roth explains government to fourth-graders

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 7:00 a.m. CDT
(Photo submitted)
State Rep. Pam Roth talks to fourth-grade students at Saratoga School about the government process.

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris) spoke to the fourth-grade class at Saratoga School on Oct. 4 about the government process and how it applies to their lives.

“The students had really great questions about what legislators do and how the process works,” Roth said. “One of my favorite parts of being in office is getting to talk to groups about what government does and the process.”

Roth discussed the differences between the structure of the United States government and the structure of the state of Illinois government. The students were already very knowledgeable about how many senators and representatives and their terms. 

Roth then illustrated how a bill becomes law by engaging the students in an exercise where the students came up with their own idea for a piece of legislation and then walked through the entire process.

The students chose to propose a law where only ketchup can be served on cheeseburgers in school. Roth interjected some hypothetical problems into the process to show the students that every bill doesn’t flow through the system quickly.

In the cheeseburger legislation, Gov. Pat Quinn amendatorally vetoed their legislation to include pickles. In the end, the amendatory veto was accepted.

“I really enjoyed talking to the fourth-graders at Saratoga,” Roth said. “They were genuinely interested in the role of government and had some great questions. I was very impressed with how much they already know at such a young age.”

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