PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Cumberland teenager who successfully lobbied for ceremonial ratification of the 17th Amendment in Rhode Island — more than a century after it became law in the U.S. — has been honored at the State House.
The 17th Amendment allowed voters to elect U.S. senators directly. It was ratified in 1913 and took effect without Rhode Island’s approval.
Samuel Ackerman helped to introduce a bill to ratify the amendment and twice testified before legislative committees.
The 17-year-old says he wanted Rhode Island to correct a historical error and reaffirm its commitment to empowering people to have their voices heard in government.
The General Assembly ceremonially ratified the 17th amendment in June.
Ackerman, who worked as a Senate page and is the son of Rep. Mia Ackerman, was recognized for his efforts Thursday.