Youth and Government has record-breaking weekend at the State Assembly


Photo courtesy of Susan Fuhrer

Participant from different schools gather to take part in the Youth and Government State Assembly.

Tanmayi Sharat and Sarah Holzman

Members of Youth and Government spent a weekend in Springfield for the State Assembly, where all six legislative groups were successful in passing the bills that they proposed to become a youth law. The bills dealt with topics including juvenile court rights, welfare reform, mandatory sentencing, raising the Amber alert age, and the Nursing Home Patients Bill of Rights. 

Senior Pinakin Kale, who crafted the mandatory sentencing bill alongside senior Aashay Soni and junior Krish Aggarwal, has been in Youth and Government since sophomore year. That was during the Youth and Government coordinators arranged the State Assembly at the State Capitol building in Springfield. 

“My first year of Youth and Government, we were actually in the State Capitol building,” Kale said, “We were in legislative halls.”

Students part of the judicial branch of Youth and Government were presented with a case once the club began and had to either appeal or not appeal, which determined if they were prosecution or defense. 

“At the State Assembly, we team up with another group from another school and we go head to head on different issues and topics, and debate whether or not a case should be appealed or not,” sophomore Helena Garcia said.

Each bill that was presented dealt with different issues that are prevalent in Illinois. Each bill includes a brief explanation of the issue, a possible solution to the issue, as well as how it would be implemented.

“My bill was a bill that more severely punished anyone who was convicted for a sexual crime against a minor, and they would be sentenced to 99 years immediately,” Aggarwal said.

The State meet was organized realistically to give the participants an experience of what an actual House meeting would look like. 

“It was just a culmination of all the work that we have done in the past year,” senior Sophia Wang said.

Youth and Government had a record breaking State meet. This State Assembly was a successful meet for the participants as all six bills that Metea Valley legislators had presented were passed to become youth laws.