Grant serves as legislative page
PIERRE — Keith Grant, a Sturgis Brown High School senior, served as a legislative page for District 29 Rep. Thomas Brunner this legislative session.
“Working as a page at the Capitol was like a refresher. I knew how a bill was created, but being in on the meetings made that more clear,” Grant said. “I did learn about some of the debating in the committee meeting and in the House and how they are usually relaxed.”
Grant started during the fourth term on Feb. 20 and served for two weeks.
“There is an application for being a page, but it is very easy, and I would highly suggest others participate in this program,” said Grant.
“Keith did a great job and seemed to enjoy himself and learned a lot. This is a great opportunity for high school kids to learn about the legislative process,” Brunner said. “I am always happy to sponsor local kids who have an interest in being a page, and I’m glad Keith enjoyed it.”
Grant talked about his experience as a page for Brunner. The first week of his page term was Crossover Day, which is the day that all of the bills originated on one side and need to be passed and moved to the other, House to Senate and Senate to House. The first week was very long because of Crossover Day; all of the legislators needed to get the bills passed. This year there were a record amount of House bills introduced, which meant long days. The pages would have to be at the Capitol by 7:15 a.m. and would leave about 6:30 p.m., depending on the day. A day at the Capitol would consist of handing out papers and helping in committee meetings in the morning. In the afternoon, a page would be on the floor assisting the legislators during session, making copies, getting coffee or water. On top of those duties, one could be assigned to phones or post office duty.
In the post office, they made copies, distributed mail, and made sure the vote counts were collected from the printer. After session adjourned for the day, there was time for high school homework assignments.
“There were a few bills that were interesting, one was the non-meandered waters, and there were a few education bills dealing with funding,” said Grant.
“Before Pierre, I knew I wanted to work within the government, but now I would consider being a legislator,” Grant, said.
Grant plans to major in elementary education at the University of Sioux Falls, following graduation.
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