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Home » News » Learning In The Capitol, Part II

Learning In The Capitol, Part II

Learning In The Capitol, Part II

April 5, 2014

Hello 8th District. My name is Daniel Duffeck, and I have been interning part-time for Sen. Will Kraus since January. This internship has been immensely exciting and rewarding, and I am more than happy to share with you what I have experienced so far.

To give you some background information about myself, I am currently finishing my senior year at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology this May. Along with taking classes and interning at the Capitol, I have also been volunteering part-time at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Columbia, so it has been quite an eventful semester. Upon graduation, I plan to attend law school in pursuit of becoming a lobbyist on behalf of veterans’ mental health rights.

I was able to attain this internship with the 8th District office through the University of Missouri’s Civic Leaders Internship Program (CLIP), which supports undergraduate students who desire an opportunity to serve the state of Missouri through internships in publicly funded offices. I have always had strong interest in politics, and since my years as an undergrad student have led me to a desire a career in law, this internship has been a perfect opportunity for me to gain applicable skills and knowledge for my future professional goals.

During my internship at the Capitol, I have been able to attend a broad range of events, such as hearings, debates, and conventions. In particular, it has been fascinating to witness first-hand the process bills undergo in order to become a law. A bill’s journey to law begins with a committee hearing. If passed through committee, it is then debated in both the House and the Senate, and finally, if passed through both chambers, it must then be approved and signed into law by the governor. During committee hearings, it is interesting to see our state officials provide information on the details and implications of their proposed legislation, and to hear input from witnesses and the committee. Both groups bring up points of contention, support, and inquiry regarding the bill. It is also exhilarating to see legislation openly debated on the floor, during which senators and representatives adamantly defend their bills in the face of opposition, often resulting in heated discussion. To see such intense spirit and dedication from our elected officials is humbling, and has provided me with a new appreciation for this process.

In addition to direct exposure to the bill process, I also enjoy the lively atmosphere in the office I am lucky enough to call work. With Sen. Kraus’ ever-open door and warm hospitality, our office is almost constantly bustling with constituents and state officials wanting to discuss particular issues, ask questions or just simply stop by and say hello. Through my presence in the office, I have been able to significantly expand my knowledge of public policy and constituent needs. It is amazing how deep understanding and awareness of a subject can become through personal interaction.

Working alongside Sen. Kraus’ staff has been invaluable for my experience as an intern. They have taken it upon themselves to thoroughly orient me with the specific processes of government and the inner workings of the Capitol. Senator Kraus has also played a huge role in educating me on state policy, and it is truly inspiring to see his passion and commitment toward legislation on behalf of his constituents and all Missourians. It has been a privilege to intern for this office, and I will certainly incorporate what I have learned from my experience here throughout my professional life.

Senate Memorial Service

On April 14, 2014, the 97th General Assembly will host a Memorial Service for the distinguished former senators who have passed away since May 1987. It will be the first time in nearly 30 years an event like this has been held. Together, with the families of the former senators, we will celebrate the lawmakers’ lives and legacies and remember their dedicated service.

This event serves to honor not only those men and women who served in the upper chamber, but also their family members who gave their love and support to make their relatives’ time in Jefferson City possible. Each former senator will be recognized by a roll call and a rose presented to the family. Family members will be invited to a reception immediately following the ceremony

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions, and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 573-751-1464, or e-mail at will.kraus@senate.mo.gov.

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