Melony Bell – Florida House of Representatives Page & Messenger Program for the 2021 Legislative Session,
Melony Bell – Florida House of Representatives District 56
I am so excited to announce that the Florida House of Representatives Page & Messenger Program will be held during the 2021 Legislative Session, continuing a tradition that dates back to Florida’s earliest years of statehood. The application portal is now open and can be found at https://myfloridahouse.gov/…/page…/pm_application.pdf. The responsibilities of each position are outlined below, however, to allow for students to be socially distanced as much as possible during their week of service, I am only able to sponsor one student for the program. This means I can accept either one Page (grades 6-8) or one Messenger (grades 9-12), but not both this year.
Pages (grades 6-8) are traditionally tasked with assisting the representatives in the House Chamber whenever the House is in session, but it is possible that Pages may not be able to assist in the House Chamber this session. Messengers (grades 9-12) assist House members and staff by delivering time-sensitive materials throughout the Capitol Complex. In addition to their prescribed duties, the Pages and Messengers will spend their week learning the ins and outs of the legislative process, hearing from officials working in all three branches of Florida’s state government, and creating mock bills of their own that they will endeavor to pass through mock committees and a mock session.
The COVID-19 global pandemic necessitated making a number of changes and modifications to the program in order to ensure a safe and enriching experience for all participants, which are outlined below:
ALL Pages and Messengers will be subject to the Capitol’s mobile on-site COVID-19 diagnostic testing, which will take place at the beginning of their week of service. Only those students who receive a negative test result will be allowed to participate in the program. A negative COVID-19 diagnostic test or a positive antibody test from the student’s local testing site WILL NOT be accepted as a substitute for the on-site COVID-19 diagnostic test. ANY student presenting symptoms of COVID-19, who has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or who is awaiting results of a COVID-19 diagnostic test because of suspected exposure to COVID-19 WILL NOT be allowed to participate in the program and will be immediately sent home should they start exhibiting any such symptoms during their week of service. Students will be REQUIRED to wear a face-covering at all times, aside from lunch, and unless otherwise specified in the Page & Messenger Program Guidebook.
All applications must be completed and returned to the Florida House of Representatives Office of the Clerk by FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2021, via email to HousePagesandMessengers@myfloridahouse.gov or via fax to 888-864-8992.