At Pre-Leg 1, LAs will attend committee sessions when not in training or helping with elections. LAs are frequently mentored by a legislator who helps them learn the legislative process and the LAs help the legislator with research and arguments for their bill. Some LAs can be elected as Sergeants-at-Arms, Clerks/Secretaries, and Bill Flow Clerks, all of whom have extra responsibilities at the Springfield assembly, including assisting Presiding Officers (Clerks), assisting the Governor (Secretaries), helping to make sure bills get to the right place (Bill Flow Clerks), and enforcing the rules in the chambers. (Sergeant-at-Arms’)
Pre-Leg 2 will follow the same structure, LAs will help with elections, attend committees, and help their legislator if needed. Pre-Leg 2 will also be the preliminary rounds of the forum, which will be discussed below.
The Springfield weekend with elections and attending training Friday afternoon. They will attend committee sessions Friday night and Saturday, assisting their legislator if needed. An important distinction between LAs and lobbyists will be clear – lobbyists and speak in committee as witnesses and LAs cannot. When not in forum, LAs may observe the judicial program, observe the legislature from the galleries or go offsite for a tour of Springfield landmarks.
Starting at Pre-Leg 2 and throughout the Springfield weekend, participants in the LA program will also be participating in an issues forum as well. During the forum, delegates will have their ideas heard and have their speaking and critical thinking skills evaluated by their peers.
The first round of the forum is at Pre-Leg 2. Students should come to Pre-Leg 2 with their topic picked out from a pre-existing list of topics and have some research completed to support their position. This will be discussed in training at Pre-Leg 1.
The next round occurs Friday afternoon in Springfield. It occurs at the same time as Friday afternoon committees. Participants will be broken into groups (Deer, Monarch, and Cardinal) and use this time to brainstorm their issues and practice presentations. Delegates will have a set time to present their proposal and have a question and answer session following two rounds of forum presentations on Saturday. All other participants will then evaluate each presentation. The top scores will move to the next round.
The next round will have the top presentations from the first round present again. They are encouraged to update their presentation with information obtained since the last session. Again, each presentation will be evaluated by all participants, so even those eliminated from the competition should attend this session. The top scores will again move to the next round.
The final round will take place on Sunday. This time, the panel will be the committee chairs and the moderator will be the Lt. Governor. Delegates again present their proposals and the panel asks questions. At the conclusion of presentations, the panel evaluates the presentations and a winner is declared.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will Personal Assistants be selected?
Personal assistants will be selected from LAs who apply for the position by Pre-Leg 2. Presiding officers will no longer have a dedicated assistant but it will rotate among LAs in their chamber. PAs for the governor will be rotated so those delegates can still participate in the forum.
How are Forum topics selected?
The topics are selected by members of the program board and Lt. Governor. We looked at the top issues facing the State of Illinois.
How should proposals be structured? What format should be used?