Legislative Assistant Information

Legislative Assistant Information 2020-08-16T12:19:06-05:00

What can I expect at the Y&G events for LAs?

Pre-Legislative Regional Session 1:

At this session, the LA specific training includes learning more about Youth and Government in general, YAG extra events, and review and discussion about the list of State Issues that will be options for you to research and prepare a presentation about. You will also learn about the Administrative Offices that serve at Assembly that LAs can run for (more on those under Pre-Legislative Sectional Session 2).

Pre-Legislative Sectional Session 2:

LAs prepare and submit a draft of their State Issues Proposal before this session. At the session, you will have your proposal evaluated, and you will have a chance to go over what you would like to do for your presentation, and practice.

Think you want to do something more than the State Issues Forum? Run for an Administrative Office! These offices will be elected at the Sectional Session. These positions have extra duties during Assembly. You can run for the following (click on each for a description for the duties of each office):

Secretary of the Senate. The Secretaries of the Senate read all Bills and Amendments as they come up for debate and vote in each chamber. They will also be responsible for recording the decision of the chamber as to whether a bill passes or fails, and assist the Presidents of the Senate as needed. The Secretaries will be responsible for providing bills from the Senate to the Bill Flow desk for processing. One Secretary will be elected at each Section at Pre-Leg Sectional Session to serve at Assembly. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech in front of the legislative assistants. Note: Secretaries of the Senate will also participate in the State Issues Forum.

Clerk of the House. The  Clerks of the House read all Bills and Amendments as they come up for debate and vote in each chamber. They will also be responsible for recording the decision of the chamber as to whether a bill passes or fails, and assist the Speakers of the House as needed. The Clerks will be responsible for providing bills from the House to the Bill Flow desk for processing. One Clerk will be elected at each Section at Pre-Leg Sectional Session to serve at Assembly. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech in front of the legislative assistants. Note: Clerks of the House will also participate in the State Issues Forum.

Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate. The Sergeants-at-Arms are the doorkeepers in Springfield.  They enforce the Dress Code, make sure that only authorized persons enter the legislative sessions, keep food and drink out of the chambers and assist with general session security.  The Sergeants-at-Arms also act at the direction of the Chamber Officer, and supervise the Legislative Assistants in their respective chambers. One Sergeant of the Senate will be elected at each Section at Pre-Leg Sectional Session to serve at Assembly. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech in front of the legislative assistants. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech in front of the legislative assistants. Note: Sergeants will also participate in the State Issues Forum.

Sergeant-at-Arms of the House. The Sergeants-at-Arms are the doorkeepers in Springfield.  They enforce the Dress Code, make sure that only authorized persons enter the legislative sessions, keep food and drink out of the chambers and assist with general session security.  The Sergeants-at-Arms also act at the direction of the Chamber Officer, and supervise the Legislative Assistants in their respective chambers. One Sergeant of the House will be elected at each Section at Pre-Leg Sectional Session to serve at Assembly. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech in front of the legislative assistants. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech in front of the legislative assistants. Note: Sergeants will also participate in the State Issues Forum.

There are a couple of other extra positions for LAs too

Bill Flow Clerk. Bill Flow Clerks assist the Secretary of State and chamber officials in keeping track of the progress of legislation at Assembly. There will be a total of five bill flow clerks selected from each section at Pre-Leg II to serve at Assembly. Note: Bill Flow Clerks will also participate in the State Issues Forum.

2021 Youth Governor Personal Assistants. Personal Assistants are legislative assistants selected to assist the Youth Governor to help schedules run smoothly. The Youth Governor will select the Personal Assistants before Assembly. There will be a total of six Personal Assistants selected. Note: Personal Assistants will also participate in the State Issues Forum.

Assembly

Assembly Time! At Assembly, you will get more training on how the State Issue Forum will operate, and for those of you who are Administrative Officers, you will get training and practice on what you need to do. Assembly is where all the work you have done for your Forum presentation comes together!

Forum

Your Forum experience started at the Sectional Session, after you had picked your Issue. You had an opportunity to get your proposal evaluated and give a short first run-through of your presentation for feedback.

The Forum is organized by Rounds – you will first be assigned to a Forum (Cardinal, Violet or Deer), and then within that Forum be separated by what issues you are presenting.

First and Second Rounds will take place on Saturday – each presentation will be peer-evaluated and those with the top scores move on the next round to present again. If your presentation isn’t chosen to move on, you still will be a big part of the Forum, as evaluators of the remaining presentations.

The final rounds will take place on Sunday.  This time though the evaluators will be committee chairs and the facilitator will be the Youth Lt.  Governor. The presentations will be scored and the top three of each Forum will be announced, and also acknowledged at the Closing Ceremony panel will be the committee chairs and the moderator will be the Lt. Governor

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Forum issues selected?
At the end of Assembly, LAs are asked for issues they think would be good to cover for the next program year. The issues are reviewed and selected by the LA coordinators and the Student Steering Committee.

How should proposals be structured?  What format should be used?

Structure and more details on the proposals are in the Legislative Assistant Handbook, and also covered at the Regional and Sectional Sessions.

How will presentations be evaluated?
The presentations will be evaluated by the other LAs in your group.

What if my proposal does not make it through?  Should I still attend the next round?
Absolutely! And you need to – you can participate by asking questions of the remaining proposals and you will evaluate them as well. (You may come out of the Forum with a difference in opinion on an Issue, or find one you want to research on your own!)

What does it mean if I win my Forum?
Along with a lot of congratulations, Forum winners will be acknowledged at the Closing Ceremony, and included on the List of Awards published at the end of Assembly. If you are a freshman and win your forum, you are eligible to be a legislator your sophomore year (usually only juniors and seniors get to be legislators!)

Info on Extra Positions (Secretary, Clerk, Bill Flow, Gov. Assistant)

How will Personal Assistants be selected?
The Youth Governor will select the personal assistants from LAs who apply for the position.  Personal assistants will be given a schedule for when they will be with the Youth Governor, and they still participate in the State Issues Forum.

If I am serving in one of these extra positions, how does that work with the job duties and forum at Assembly?
You will be assigned to a couple of things – first we have three groups, or legislatures, for legislators, lobbyists, and these administrative LA offices. This is the area that you do your actual job, and we call them by colors, Blue, Gray, or Orange.

You will also be assigned to a Forum. We have three separate Forums, and they are named after Illinois state symbols – Cardinal, for the state bird; Violet, for the state flower; and White-Tailed Deer (Deer) for the state animal.

You follow the schedule for the color legislature you are assigned to, and the forum you are assigned to.