Florida Model Legislature

Florida Model Legislature


The Dragon In My Garage
by Carl Sagan

"A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"

Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

"Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle -- but no dragon.

"Where's the dragon?" you ask.

"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

"Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

"Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick." And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so. The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility. Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative -- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."

Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons -- to say nothing about invisible ones -- you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages -- but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.

Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence" -- no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it -- is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

The 8th session of the Florida Model Legislature will be October 14-15 2016. The conference is for c

Operating as usual


Kudos to our Executive Director!

Last up on our FCSAA State Office Introductory Posts is our Project Manager, Doug Ryan!

Doug brings more than 25 years of experience in the Florida College System to his role as FCSAA Project Manager. He's been involved as a student, a college employee, a consultant, and now with the FCSAA. As a student, Doug served as Student Government President at Tallahassee Community College and as Secretary-General of the Tallahassee Southern Model United Nations, which is hosted by TCC’s Model UN Student Organization. As an employee and SGA Advisor, he served as the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA) District 4 Advisor and State Conference Chair. His background includes extensive leadership with the Florida Model United Nations, the Florida Model Legislature, and the National Model U.S. Congress. This past year, Doug completed a Post-Crisis Leadership Certificate Program at the University of South Florida and has worked to become a skilled virtual event host. We are so happy to have you, Doug!


Progress in planning our 2020 session is being made, we will announce our 2020 Session soon.

Photos from Florida Model Legislature's post 04/14/2019

The House and Senate have both passed the Inter-Academic Student Expenses Scholastic Reserve Act. The bill allows post-secondary institution's to offer student expense accounts that would be funded by the student or other student aid. Will the Governor act on this?



We are working on our reschedule and future plans, we hope to confirm and make an announcement next week.


We have canceled our conference this week so our attendees can focus on recovering from Hurricane Michael or serving those in need. We will announce our rescheduling plans soon.

Get Ready. Get Set. Vote! | yourvoteflorida.com 08/28/2018

Make sure you participate in the Democratic process! Go vote, if you're eligible.


Get Ready. Get Set. Vote! | yourvoteflorida.com The Florida Department of State Division of Elections encourages voter participation for the 2018 elections through Get Ready. Get Set. Vote!  The links below provide key voting-related information and resources for the 2018 election cycle.


Our deepest condolences go to the family of Senator John McCain who has passed away. Senator McCain served his country in its Military and its Government. Thank You, may you rest in peace. Please join us in sending good vibes and positive thoughts of comfort and peace to the family and friends of Senator McCain of Arizona.


Congratulations to our Senate President, Kaylin MacDonald!

Congratulations to Kaylin MacDonald, Hillsborough Community College/ HCC Dale Mabry Campus, who was selected as one our Student Government Division Students of the Month for April. She was nominated by her advisor Steven Crudup.

Here’s what Mr. Crudup shared with us about Kaylin: “Kay MacDonald has been the President of the HCC Dale Mabry Student Government Association since May 2017. Throughout her tenure, Kay has worked effectively with her Executive Board and increased engagement among the Senators. Kay maintains an “open door policy” and is willing to advocate on behalf of any student who walks into her office. She listens with open ears and an open heart but also knows when she needs to hold her peers accountable. She is also a true servant leader who would not ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do and is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Additionally, Kay tirelessly advocates on behalf of her fellow students, meeting with upper-level administrators on issues such as campus safety, trans-friendly bathrooms, and a reflective quiet space on campus. Kay is also engaged in many campus and college-wide committees including the Campus Diversity Council, MLK Celebration Committee, Student Success Festival Planning Committee, and many others. However, her dedication is to the SGA, and she often spends time with our internal Committee Chairs assisting them with planning activities.

Beyond her attitude as President, Kay has tirelessly worked to encourage more civic engagement opportunities for our College. As the past Senate Secretary and incoming Senate President for Florida Model Legislature, Kay is attempting to develop a year-round legislative simulation activity at HCC. As the leader of our delegation to Washington, D.C. in the Fall, Kay effectively advocated to Congresswoman Kathy Castor and representatives for Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. She is also working to get our SGA more engaged with local government, such as the City Council and County Commission. In the months of February and March in particular, Kay served as the student co-chair of the College’s Student Activity Fees Committee. In this role, she was tasked with managing the meeting flow of a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students from the five HCC campuses as they allocated approximately $1.9 million dollars to programs seeking funding for the 2019 Fiscal year. Kay’s knowledge and confidence in Robert’s Rules and task orientation assisted greatly in the effective running of this process.”

Congratulations to this outstanding student, and our thanks to Mr. Crudup for taking the time to nominate her for this recognition.

Governor 12/15/2017

Meet our Governor, Alondra Morales. Alondra attends Palm Beach State Campus. After completing her Associate n Arts studies she plans to continue at Palm Beach State College in the Nursing Program. Although not majoring in Political Science, she has a passion for civic eduation and the legislative process. She's very active with the Student Government Association on her campus. Alondra attended which prepared her for and her run for Governor. Alondra served as a Representative at and received an award for her work. Find out more about Alondra at the below webpage. Welcome to the team, Alondra!


Governor Email: [email protected] Bio : Alondra Morales is currently attending Palm Beach State College for her Associates in Arts Degree. When she graduates she will continue at Palm Beach State...


Meet our Lt. Governor, Anthony Luciano Geigel. Anthony attends Hillsborough Community College where he studies Political Science and Computer Engineering. He serves as the Government Relations Chair for the Dale Mabry campus Student Government Association. He has previous leadership experience in the collegiate life from his time at Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Anthony is a US Army Combat Veteran and Retiree. Anthony served as a Senator at and received an award for his work. Anthony was elected along with the Governor. Find out more about Anthony at the below webpage. Welcome to the team, Anthony!



Meet our Secretary of the Senate, Fionnula Davis-Patton, or Fin for short. Fin is a Political Science major at Hillsborough Community College. Fin plans to continue her studies at the University of South Florida (Bachelor Degree) then on to law school. Fin served as a Senator at and received an award for her work. Find out more about Fin at the below webpage. Welcome to the team, Fin!


Senate President 11/16/2017

Meet our Senate President, Kay MacDonald. Kay recently served as the Senate Secretary for the 2017 Model Legislative session. Kay is a student at Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry campus. Kay has a passion for politics. She plans on continuing her studies in Washignton D.C. Kay plans to work for the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about Kay on our website!


Senate President Bio: My name is Kay MacDonald and I currently go to Hillsborough Community College as a Sophomore studying Foreign Service and International Politics. Formerly a Senator for the Student Government...

House Speaker 11/13/2017

Meet the Speaker of the House for the 2018 Model Legislative Session, Lenz Francois. Lenz served as the Speaker Pro Tempore for the 2017 legislative session. He stepped into the role and ran the session after a little guidance from Acting Speaker Works. Lenz attends Palm Beach State College. Lenz had no interest in politics until hearing a presentation from an SGA representative. He aspires to be an anesthesiologist. Learn more about Speaker Francois at the webpage below.


House Speaker Bio: My name is Lenz Schedlee Milou François. I am a sophomore at Palm Beach State College pursuing an Associates in Arts degree. Upon completion, I plan on transferring to the University of...


Remember, you can submit bills throughout the duration of the conference until notified by your chamber leaders. 😄⌨💻📃📄


Interested in becoming a volunteer staff member or Governor of the Florida Model Legislature? Great! Our 2018 staff applications are open. Complete this application as soon as possible. Ask our current staff members any questions you may have.

Volunteer Staff Application


Interested in running for governor at the Florida Model Legislature? You should attend the Running for Governor 411 session at 6:45 PM in the Orange Room. Current and Former Governor staff will be there to answer your questions.


Representatives, the Leadership of the House has a bold agenda for you to tackle. Read the House platform at the House webpage!


Our House Speaker of the House Jonathan Marr and House Clerk David Duvet are looking forward to a productive legislative session this year in the House. The House leadership would like to focus on the...


Are you a Senator at ? Check out the Senate Platform from your Chamber Leadership.


Our Senate Tallahassee, Fl. — The Florida Senate Leadership looks forward to an expedient and productive meet between not only their chamber, but the Joint efforts of both the Senate and House of...

Florida Model Legislature Annual Conference 10/10/2017

Curious to know why there is no legislation on the legislation tracker? It's because we know, based on conference feedback that attendees are more passionate about topics and bills they write themselves. So, we want you to review your seat assignment, research your assigned legislator, view the agenda topic list, and submit your own bills. The legislative staff has written 20 bills, which will be assigned and posted tomorrow. However, the more you write, the less you have to guess why a staff member submitted a particular bill. Also, don't fret, there will be a legislation writing workshop at the conference. Visit the site below for more info.


Florida Model Legislature Annual Conference Information on the annual Florida Model Legislature Conference. Our Event trains college students to engage in the Florida Legislative Process


Staff for FML2018 will be selected MUCH earlier this year. If you are interested in serving as House Speaker, House Clerk, Senate President, or Senate Secretary, visit the webpage below.


Volunteer Staff & Elections Florida Model Legislature takes pride in its volunteer staff. This is a year round commitment where you learn about the legislative process in Florida, and receive training on being a leader. If you...

Committee Proceedings - Florida Model Legislature 10/04/2017

As a legislator, you will spend a great deal of your time in committee meetings. Committees vet out legislation before it makes it to the chamber floor. Learn about committee proceedings in the presentation below.


Committee Proceedings - Florida Model Legislature Committees serve as one of the most vital functions of the legislature. Their job is to vet legislation before it gets to the full legislative body. Learn ab...

Rules of Procedure - Florida Model Legislature 10/03/2017

Learning the Rules of Procedure is critical for a participant at a model legislature event. Our rules were created specifically for our program. We consulted many sources while writing these rules. View the presentation below and contact us with any questions.

Good luck!


Rules of Procedure - Florida Model Legislature Having a basic understanding of the rules is very important. Review this presentation on the Rules of Procedure for the Florida Model Legislature. These rule...

The Bill Process - Florida Model Legislature 10/02/2017

It's very important to have a basic understanding of how an idea (or bill) becomes a law. This process is quite standard, for the most part. View our training video, The Bill Process, to follow an idea to law process. This video can also be found on our training page - http://www.modellegislature.org/florida-model-legislature-training.html


The Bill Process - Florida Model Legislature Learn how an idea becomes a law in the Florida Legislature and the Florida Model Legislature.


With Model Legislature only two weeks away, we hope you're getting ready, writing bills and learning the rules. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. You can message us via Facebook or reach us at our contact page below. Have a great weekend, Legislators!


Contact Us (C) 2010-2017 Model Legislature, all rights reserved


Got writers block? Need an idea for a bill? Need to know today's hot topics? Our Legislator Resources page has many of the answers you need. Visit the page today!


Our Legislator Resources The Rules are Vital to the coherent and orderly movement of legislation through both chambers. The Florida Model Legislature prides itself with the rules it has adopted right from the House and...

Our Legislative Branch 09/25/2017

Knowing who the leaders are in each house of the legislature is important. Visit the webpage below to learn more about the Senate President, Senate Secretary, Speaker of the House, and the House Clerk. These important individuals will be key players when it comes to making deals!


Our Legislative Branch The Florida Model Legislature House of Representatives and Senate will be a full simulation of the actual Florida House and The Florida Senate . The two houses of legislature will make use of...


Need ideas for bills? View our Legislator Resources page for an Agenda Topic List and many other resources. Submit bills for issues that you want to learn about and debate.


Legislation (Bills) Resources Bill writing is a major component of our legislative process. It serves to create, amend, or abolish laws. All students attending the conference should write bills. The Official Florida Model...


Are you preparing for ? You just might need to know how to plan your schedule? Checkout the Conference Agenda at the webpage below. Please let us know if you have any questions.




The Governors platform is how the initiatives of the executive branch are communicated. Find out the platform of Governor Diaz for at the website below.


Governors Platform As Governor Aliddy Diaz of Florida Model Legislature, I introduce this platform as a legislative guide for our 2017 legislative session(s). It is the governor’s mission to lead our state and to...

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Videos (show all)

Closing Session 2016
Are you following us on Snap Chat? We're easy to find under our username Florida Model Legislature! Here's our story so ...
Campaign speech from Governor candidate Aliddy Diaz, modeling Rep. Passidomo.
Campaign speech from Governor candidate Johnathan Marr, modeling Rep. Kerner.
Townhall debate Bonus Question Seven!"Please share one thing you admire about the your opponent."
Townhall debate Question Six: "What kind of person are you when no one is looking?"
Townhall debate Question Five:"Please talk about experience you have with communicating with outside groups on behalf of...
Townhall debate Question Four:"What is your plan to increase attendance at the conference?"
Townhall debate Question Three:"Please name a Governor you admire and why."
Townhall debate Question Two:"At times, you will be called upon to make sacrifices for the conference (travelling across...
Town hall debate Question One:"You will be modeling Governor Rick Scott, what experiences do you have with model program...




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