Legislation proposed by a Shadow Hills High School student has been selected by Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) as the winner of his annual “There Ought to be a Law” competition.
Senate Bill 583, called the California Financial Literacy Act, was inspired by Roberto Ortega, a senior at Shadow Hills High School in Indio.
Since last fall, high school students from across the 28th Senate District have submitted ideas about legislation they thought would make a difference in their lives and the lives of their community.
More than 120 students submitted entries.
“While there were many good suggestions, the one bill that stood out to me came from Robert Ortega and will require high school students to be taught necessary life skills before they graduate,” Senator Stone said.
Ortega, 17, is a member of the Shadow Hills wrestling team, and also works part-time at Kohl’s.
“High school graduates leave school and enter the real world not knowing how to do simple, everyday tasks, such as filing financial papers,” Ortega said. “I’ve seen so many kids get into trouble by applying for credit cards and not knowing what they’re doing”
Senator Stone agreed.
“So many of our young people enter the job market or head off to college without the necessary financial tools they need,” the Senator said. “As a result, many run almost immediately into massive debt and credit card problems that force them to begin their adult lives with bad credit scores and huge bills.”
In the near future, Senator Stone will visit Shadow Hills High School to meet with Roberto, his teacher Shauna Perrance, and school Principal Dr. Marcus Wood.
Later this spring Ortega and one of his parents will be flown to Sacramento by Senator Stone to testify before a Senate committee on behalf of SB-583.
If passed and signed by the Governor, SB-583 will provide young people with the tools they need to handle their finances responsibly.
Roberto Ortega, 17, a senior at Shadow Hills High School