Legislative Assistant Information

Legislative Assistant Information 2018-06-15T17:25:10+00:00

At Pre-Leg 1, LAs will attend committee sessions when not in training or helping with elections.  LAs are 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.

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.

Forum

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 a 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 (Blue, Gray and Orange) and use this time to brainstorm their issues and practice presentations.  At this time, students with similar positions can combine their proposals.  Combining with students from other delegations is encouraged.

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 from that color 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?

Download Forum Proposal Template

Why would a delegate combine their proposal with another?
Once we arrive in Springfield, there will be a good chance many of the proposals will be similar and make the same arguments.  In this case, they are encouraged to combine their proposals.  This will give their proposal a greater chance of moving to the next round.  How multiple delegates split their presentation is up to them.

How will presentations be evaluated?
Each participant in the forum will fill out an evaluation form of the other proposals.  Public speaking, critical thinking, and preparation will be some of the criteria.  Students are encouraged to practice their presentations before arriving in Springfield.

What if my proposal does not make it through?  Should I still attend the next round?
All LAs should continue to attend the forum as they will be able to ask questions of the remaining proposals and will evaluate the remaining proposals.

What does it mean if one of my students win?
Similar to outstanding legislators and lobbyists, forum winners will be published in Y&G correspondence and it gives students an additional accomplishment to put on college applications.  These students may also be tagged for leadership roles in subsequent years in Y&G. Freshmen who make the final round will be eligible to serve as legislators as sophomores on approval of their head advisor.