Gress proposes lowering age required to serve in legislature

Rep. Matt Gress, who first ran for town council in Cyril, Okla. at 18, said he believes his ideas at that time had merit.

By Howard Fischer || Capitol Media Services  January 13, 2023

Arizona voters could decide next year how they feel about having people who aren’t yet old enough to drink making state laws.

A proposal by newly elected Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, would set the minimum age for legislators at 18. They now have to be 25 to take office.

But Gress, who first ran for town council in Cyril, Okla. at 18, said he doesn’t believe that his ideas at that time, like how to deal with a money-losing ambulance service, didn’t have merit. And he said that also must have been the belief of the 124 people who voted for him, though he lost.

And now, at 34, he believes others deserve a chance to serve, even if they will be involved in major policy decisions like enacting new laws and adopting an $18 billion state budget.

Gress is likely to face questions from lawmakers, who have to consider his HCR 2004, all of whom are older than 25. And the big one is maturity.

Gress, legislators, bill, lawmakers, 

There is a lot of scientific evidence that the prefrontal cortex matures during adolescence and is not fully developed until age 25. And that’s the section of the brain that influences attention, impulse control, managing emotional reactions and predicting the consequences of one’s actions.

“I just don’t buy that at all,” he told Capitol Media Services.

“My frontal cortex was fully formed, in my view, when I talked about issues facing our town. And it resonated with 124 adults who voted.”

Rep. Matt Gress


Share this!

Additional Articles

News Categories

Get Our Twice Weekly Newsletter!

* indicates required

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

January 2023