Reported by Carolyn Lemens (Annandale High School)
After a rather alarming early morning fire drill, the class headed back to the College of Nursing for the budget game, not yet aware of the difficulties that were to come.
We walked into the room confident that a budget would be easy to pass; we would simply need to cut unnecessary spending and raise needed revenue. Once we were divided into a house and a senate group, we quickly realized that things were not so simple.
As the day progressed we had more disputes centering on everything from medicaid furloughs. Eventually, deals were made and we came formed two conference committees that each drafted their own budgets. Finally, the entire class gathered together for one last meeting to vote on the final budget. It came down to two proposals.
After the problems were sorted, we finally passed a budget and got to reflect on the process. Contrary to our initial beliefs, it was much harder that we first thought it would be. Making cuts was not something we wanted to do, especially after we thought about the people behind the actions. We also realized that compromise was essential to making the budget work.
Finally, we practiced our final presentation, with a panel of comprised of our YPMs to make sure we were ready for the next day. The experience was intended to prepare us for anything that could happen, even having us wear the shoes we plan on wearing. Hopefully in our final presentation, we won’t be wearing heels and athletic shorts.
Tomorrow we look forward to our final policy presentations and can’t believe it has already been two weeks, but they do say time flies when you're having fun.