Legislative interns make all the difference at Capitol

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Legislative Session ended Thursday night. Behind all the debates and all the politics lies a rarely seen, rarely appreciated perspective.

Interns work long hours doing a lot of tedious tasks and don't get paid much. But many said it was one of the best jobs they've had - tracking schedules, returning emails and climbing a lot of stairs. Interns at the Capitol rarely sit around, and the public rarely sees the work that they do.

"As far as how busy and crazy it is, I don't think you can ever really prepare for that," said intern Marisa Moon.

They read hundreds of bills, help with speeches and talking points and often get a front row view of the action.

Emily Lockhart interns for her mother, House Speaker Becky Lockhart.

"It's been incredible," Emily said. "I love spending time with my mom and it's been fun to see her working in a greater capacity than I've ever seen her."

Joseph Fitisemanu said the experience is better than he expected, even with the 12 hour days and not seeing much of his family. But for nearly two months, you do get to see the inner workings of the legislature.

"You get to hear things that people normally don't get to hear," said intern Deven Ransom. "You get to hear both sides of the conversation."

They don't leave all the debating up to the legislators - they have their own as well.

"We have our own intern caucus in the rules room," Fitisemanu said. "We hang out. We debate. I think that is one good thing is how well the interns have been able to work together."

Not of all these interns plan professional careers in politics - Among them are a future engineer, a future teacher and more. But this is valuable experience for anyone.

"One thing I was surprised about is how easy it is to be involved in government, and I don't think many people take advantage of that," said intern Daniel Lloyd.

Ransom encouraged anyone interested or who has an issue they want to make their government aware of, to come and knock on the door. If you do, you may meet one of these interns, and they will be more than happy to help.


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Richard Piatt


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