9-Year-Old Pushes For Free Access To Parks Lily Kay, a 9-year-old from Texas, is pushing for legislation that would enable more than 417,000 fifth-graders in the state, and anyone in the vehicle with them, to enter state parks at no charge.

9-Year-Old Pushes For Free Access To Parks

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This week, a Texas legislative committee heard testimony about House Bill 1561 sponsored by Republican State Representative Morgan Meyer.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: We will call up your witness. And it is Ms. Kay. What would you like to tell us?

LILY KAY: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. My name is Lily. I'm a fourth-grade, dual-language student at Mockingbird Elementary in East Dallas.

SIMON: Lily Kay has had the idea for the bill. She joins us now from Dallas. Thanks so much for being with us.

LILY: You're welcome.

SIMON: What is House Bill 1561?

LILY: It's a bill that would encourage fifth-graders to get outdoors instead of being inside, cooped up on a phone or iPad or computer.

SIMON: Now, your bill, as I understand it, would give free admission to fifth-graders and their families in any state park. Why the fifth grade in particular?

LILY: Because we learn about Texas history in fourth grade - that way we can see the things we learned about and teach our family and friends about them.

SIMON: Boy, that's important. Well, what places in particular would you like to bring your family?

LILY: I like the idea of going to Lockhart because of the barbecue and because I just like the idea.

SIMON: (Laughter) That's the only thing I know about Lockhart is the barbecue. I'm there. But you've been all around Texas, haven't you? What about a place like San Jacinto?

LILY: It would be nice to go there so that you could see where Sam Houston led the Texans against the Mexicans.

SIMON: That was an important battle.

LILY: Sure was.

SIMON: So you talked before the tourism committee of the Texas state legislature. That - I mean, that's not like just doing show and tell in front of your class, is it?

LILY: No. It was really scary to get the courage and do it.

SIMON: Is there a vote coming soon?

LILY: Well, after this, it goes to the Calendars Committee and then the floor of the House. And then if it passes that, it will go to the Senate side. And if it passes that, then the governor will sign it.

SIMON: Boy, you really know how a bill gets passed.

LILY: Yes. I had a lot of research on that.

SIMON: Do you ever think you might like to go into political life?

LILY: Yes. I kind of want to be the president.

SIMON: Well, you're off to a great start. Let's put it that way.

LILY: Thank you.

SIMON: Lily Kay came up the idea behind Texas House Bill 1561. She also happens to be a fourth-grader in Dallas. Thank you so much for being with us. And good luck to you with everything.

LILY: Thank you.


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