Recently, I actually got to have a tour of the House of Representatives in Arizona and I wanted to tell you what I learned.
First, when you get into the big room where they meet, there are about 100 chairs in the very back on the top floor. The people who sit in these seats, actually watch what the Representatives are doing on the floor below them.
The members of the House vote on bills, some are good and some are bad, which may become law should they pass both houses and the governor sign it into law. If a member thinks that a new bill is good, they vote “Yea.” If a bill that is given to them is bad, then they vote “Nay.”
Here’s how it works: The representative sits in his chair, and there’s a box in front of him that has two buttons. One reads “Yea,” and the other one reads “Nay.” When you click whichever one you want to do, it pops up on the screen how you voted.
If you would like to speak your thoughts on the bill, you ask the speaker if you can say a word. Then, you grab a microphone from your desk and speak. However, what I learned is that while you are voting “yes” or “no,” you cannot debate with the person who thinks the opposite of you. If you have already made your decision and voted, you have an extra opportunity to change your mind as long as you do it before everyone’s vote has been made.
Also, the bill that you voted for is read extra fast three times before it passes. So you can never say that you didn’t have an opportunity to hear the bill. My House of Representatives tour was extremely cool! I hope you learned as much as I did.