Brady Shrader’s legislative internship experience at the West Virginia Legislature gave the Bluefield State College student a ringside seat at one of the most eventful weeks in this year’s regular session in Charleston.
Shrader, one of only 51 students from West Virginia colleges and universities to be selected for the Frasure-Singleton Legislative Internship, was in House committee meetings and floor sessions during which the education omnibus bill was being debated and when Delegate Eric Porterfield made controversial comments in support of a proposal to limit LGBTQ rights.
“I was an intern for Cindy Lavender-Bowe, a freshman delegate from the 42nd District (Greenbrier and portions of Summers and Monroe counties),” Shrader explained. “I attended House committee meetings and floor sessions. In the past, I’d watched the legislature from the galleries in the balcony, but during the legislative internship, I was on the floor of the House in the middle of events that were unfolding. You can feel the emotion of the debate when you are that close to what is happening.”
“I was particularly surprised about the amount of passion expressed by legislators as they debated for or against a particular bill,” he continued. “At the same time, there were examples of bipartisanship. Legislators who had been on opposite sides of a bill would be able to meet for dinner and discuss things.”
A resident of Iaeger, WV, Shrader said his legislative internship may have a lasting influence on his future. “I still want to go to graduate school,” he noted, “but I would certainly consider running for office.”