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Bills to watch

By: Anders Ljung and Andrew Basinger

NC YMCA Youth and Government is home to various types of bills. Most topics include issues concerning the environment, political issues, driving, safety, and even new systems of voting. However, there exist some bills that stray from the norm and grab your attention. Yet, these out of the ordinary bills should not be taken for granted. Many of them prove to be equally successful and entertaining. 

First, House Bill 31 is pushing to change the state beverage from milk to Cheerwine. For those who are unaware, Cheerwine originated from and is produced in Salisbury, North Carolina.  Milk is seen as a basic and boring beverage to represent the state of North Carolina. Cheerwine would make a more exciting and unique beverage to represent our state, especially because it was made in the state. Bill authors Anna Frucht, Mia Laws, and Lauren Kranis from West Forsyth High School have a lot to say about the proposed change. “Milk is so unoriginal and is the state beverage of twenty other states which is boring. Cheerwine would be a much more exciting drink,” Laws said. Although many people are unaware that states even have a state beverage many are in agreement with this proposal. Delegate Noel Smith from Cape Fear Academy said that “milk just doesn’t do it for me. It gives me weird vibes.”

Another interesting and popular bill in the House is Bill 39. This bill is pushing to move Halloween to the last Saturday of October in North Carolina. Bill authors Lily Robins and Gracie Muncus from Reagan High School believe this is a necessary change. “We feel that Halloween is a major inconvenience when it is on a weekday so we figured if we moved it to Saturday it would be a lot easier to celebrate and be much more convenient,” Robins said. Since Halloween is a popular holiday for children and teenagers, many were in favor of this bill as it aids the enjoyment of the holiday. However, some delegates argued otherwise. “I am against it because Halloween is a time-honored tradition with roots in the church, thus you cannot just move such a prominent holiday,” Delegate Hyldahl said.

Perhaps the most controversial is House Bill 26. This bill is by Quaid Sutherland and Summer Beesley and seems to be the most daring. The bill calls for the legalization of prostitution and has been a hot topic throughout the conference. Bill 26 will also be appearing during the Special Session on Saturday and will be debated among all delegates of NC Y&G. “We wanted to pick a controversial bill because we knew it would get everyone engaged with our argument. We decided with the legalization of prostitution because we knew it would be extremely debatable, and hopefully successful,” said Sutherland.

The next entertaining bill appeared in the forum by bill authors Noah Weyne, Haley Nix, Hannah Elder, Caroline Laster, and Chandler Hill. Forum Bill 112 argued to ban all Axe Body Spray products in all high schools and middle schools in North Carolina. “The punishment of owning or selling any scent of Axe Body Spray should be equal to possession of unprescribed drugs or illegal substances,” said author Noah Weyne. However, some are against the banning of the potent fragrance. “I think that middle schoolers should wear it because it is better than having to put up with their stench,” said Hope Gallop. 

Finally, one of the funniest bills that were presented in the house today was by bill authors Jack Holt and Zach Creamer. House Bill 10 consisted of the legalization of ownership of raccoons in North Carolina. Owners would have to vaccinate their raccoon in the emergency that it bit someone.“I don’t understand why raccoons haven’t already been domesticated. Owning a raccoon is like owning a mixture of a cat and a dog, it’s crazy we don’t have them as pets already,” said Zach Creamer. Many delegates were entertained and engaged in this bill as well. “I think that it is an excellent idea to domesticate them because raccoons could be cuddly animals if we were allowed to have them,” said Maloy Basinger.

NC Y&G always fosters unique ideas for change that are quite unexpected, yet pragmatic. As bills continue to make their way through chambers, be on the lookout! They may go all the way to Governor’s Cabinet.