Jack Kealey was the youngest lobbyist Wednesday night at the state Capitol as the clock struck midnight.
Kealey, a 10-year-old from Bethany, stood behind the velvet ropes and asked Senators to support his bill. The bill is an issue Kealey feels strongly about. He believes students should have a choice about whether they want to dissect a frog or pig in school.
“I think it’s disgusting,” Kealey said.
The bill requires school districts to excuse any student from participating in, or observing, animal dissections as part of classroom instruction if the student’s parent or guardian has requested such in writing. It requires an excused student to complete an alternative assignment.
The bill passed the Senate 34-1 on Wednesday and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman invited Kealey to join her on the dais. He was excited to bang the gavel.
“Jack is very compassionate and he did not want to have to experiment on animals when he got older,” Kealey’s mother Laura Simon, a wildlife biologist for the United States Humane Society, said.
Simon was behind the ropes with her son lobbying against a different bill. While her son’s bill was headed to the governor’s desk, Simon was trying kill a bill that would allow bow hunting on Sundays.
House Republicans slowed business when they thought the Senate Democrats weren’t going to honor a deal they made with the House Democrats to get the bill passed. The House passed it 107-19 on May 23. But the bill never got called in the Senate before midnight.