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Students argue their causes in governmental conference

BOLTON - During the recent statewide 2011 Youth and Government Conference held in Albany, Bolton Central School students presented a variety of bills in the model Assembly and Senate and a student "judicial team" presented their brief to a panel of students serving as judges.

Several Bolton students were nominated and received awards at the conference. Carl Ciccarelli was recognized as a Judicial Exemplar, and Matthew Smith was named Best Debater in the Senate. In the student Assembly, Charlotte Caldwell was nominated for Best Debater and Marisa Parrotta received an Honorable Mention award for debate.

Bolton students sponsored a variety of bills at the event.

• Legislation presented by Emma Cady, Charlotte Caldwell, Liz Parker, and Marisa Parrotta sought to introduce the Initiative and Referendum process to the state, and this bill passed in the mock Assembly, where the legislation was nominated for Best Bill.

• A measure advanced by Mark Dawson, Glenn Goodwin, and Ceejay Lofland to raise the pension age from 65 to 67 did not pass in the model Assembly, but it placed in the top 10 in the Best Bill competition.

• Samantha Boyle, Sarah Calzada, Sydney LaPan, and Olivia Seamans presented a bill to enforce a "No Refusal" law and it passed.

• A bill introduced by Olivia Clescceri, Molly Schoder, Madlyn Wilson, and Kimberly Wright to ban production of plastic water bottles under 16 ounces, did not pass.

• Marie DeLorenzo, Mitchell Jordon, Julianne O'Donnell, and Tori Persons presented a bill to lower the age of consent for agreement of adoption from 14 to 12, and it passed in the model Assembly.

• A bill presented by Ryan Dickson, Johnny Saris, and Andrew Smith to send drug users through rehabilitation programs instead of prison was passed.

• Michael Anderson, Matthew Smith, and William Smith presented a measure to amend the Graduated Drivers' License Law in order to allow qualifying teens to have no restriction on the age or number of passengers in their vehicles, but it did not pass.

• A bill introduced by Sean Donohue, Timothy Flynn, Todd Markham, and Joshua Seamans to legalize sports betting statewide passed in the Senate. "Lawyers" Marcus Baker, Carl Ciccarelli, and Eric Onjack presented their case and won in the judiciary.

In recognition of their achievement at the event, Charlotte Caldwell and Evan Malone will be attending the Conference On National Affairs during the summer; Madlyn Wilson was selected as an alternate. Marisa Parrotta was appointed to the Youth Advocacy Committee and will be returning to Albany to work with this panel.

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