Lifestyle

Mercer Island student serves as Senate page

OLYMPIA -- Colin Buchanan of Mercer Island recently spent one week in Olympia serving as a Senate page.

Buchanan was sponsored by Sen. Brian Weinstein, D-41st District. Buchanan, the son of Marvin and Fran Buchanan, attends Mercer Island High School where he is in the tenth grade and a member of the lacrosse team. He enjoys spending time with friends and hopes to attend Western Washington University in the future.

While on the Capitol campus, pages have a chance to see the inner workings of the Legislature up-close as they assist staff with odd jobs, deliver packages to legislative buildings, and relay messages to the House and Senate chambers. Pages also tour the Governor's Mansion and meet their senator.

Each year approximately 280 young people between ages of 14 and 16 participate in the legislative page program, traveling to the Capitol to learn firsthand about the legislative process. Aside from working, pages spend two hours each day in the Page School participating in a number of legislative simulations including drafting and presenting their own bills, conducting mock hearings, and voting. Guest speakers, such as legislators and lobbyists, also visit the school familiarizing students with the latest issues facing the Legislature.

Through the page program, students gain hands-on experience with state government and its participants while providing a valuable service to legislators and staff.

Additional information on the Senate page program is available at www.leg.wa.gov/senate/sadm/senpage.htm.

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