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NO. R-244. JOINT RESOLUTION DESIGNATING SEPTEMBER 15, 2000 AS LEGISLATORS BACK TO SCHOOL DAY.

(J.R.H. 191)

Offered by: Representatives Vincent of Waterbury, Atkins of Winooski, Barney of Highgate, Blanchard of Essex, Carmolli of Rutland City, Crawford of Burke, Cross of Winooski, Deen of Westminster, Deuel of West Rutland, Doyle of Richmond, Emmons of Springfield, Freed of Dorset, Hooker of Rutland City, Krasnow of Charlotte, Kreitzer of Rutland City, LaBarge of Grand Isle, Lafayette of Burlington, Levin of Hartland, Marron of Stowe, Mazzariello of Rutland City, Miller of Shaftsbury, Parizo of Essex, Partridge of Windham, Postman of Brownington, Rivero of Milton, Schiavone of Shelburne, Suchmann of Chester, Sweaney of Windsor, Tracy of Burlington, Wheeler of Burlington and Woodward of Johnson.

Whereas, in 1777, the state of Vermont was established as a representative democracy with the governing authority centered in a voter-elected citizen legislature, and

Whereas, in recent years, Vermonters' interest in representative democracy has declined due to a lack of appreciation for the virtue of a republican form of government, and

Whereas, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has adopted a resolution declaring that the operations of state legislatures, and the role of individual legislators, are often minimally understood, and that public understanding is critical to building citizens' trust in representative democracy and its institutions, and

Whereas, the NCSL resolution declares state legislatures need to improve citizens' understanding of representative democracy and the importance of compromise in resolving conflicting interests, and

Whereas, civic education is a vital tool to promote greater understanding of the legislative institution and the role of legislators in a representative democracy which the General Assembly should promote, and

Whereas, NCSL has designated the third Friday in September as "America's Legislators Back to School Day" as a national day for state legislators to visit schools and extol the importance of the legislature in our representative democracy, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly supports "America's Legislators Back to School Day" and be it further

Resolved: That members of the General Assembly are urged to visit their local schools on the third Friday in September to impart to students the importance of the legislature in our representative democracy.