Students turn lobbyists

Gov. Ned Lamont, left, speaks to City Hill Middle School students Sean Davino, 12, Luke Deitelbaum, 12, and Sahirah Rivera, 13, about legislation to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 16 at the state Capitol May 15. –CONTRIBUTED

HARTFORD — A group of six City Hill Middle School seventh grade students visited the Capitol May 15 to discuss their concerns about the effects consuming energy drinks have on youth.

They lobbied for a bill that would ban the direct sale of energy drinks to youth under 16 years old during their visit. Parents would still be allowed to purchase such beverages for their children, under the bill, which was sponsored by state Rep. Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire.

The students met with Gov. Ned Lamont, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, and numerous other lawmakers.

In addition to lobbying for passage of the bill, students have launched an awareness campaign on energy drinks — placing flyers they produced at pediatricians’ offices throughout the state.