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Youth & Government

What is it?

Illinois Youth & Government is a YMCA program that teaches high school students about government and the process through which bills become laws.  Simply stated, Y&G is a mock legislature; we "play" Congress.


What are the different roles?

Legislative Assistant – Students will create a proposal for a selected topic that is chosen from a list of options.  They will then present their proposal in a tournament style forum throughout the Springfield Assembly.  A legislator will be assigned to mentor this position.  They do not vote for legislation.  There must be one LA for every 10 legislators.  This position is a great introductory position for those interested, but not quite sure what to expect. 

(Open to Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors in their first year in Y&G)


Lobbyists – Work to defeat or pass legislation.  Work with a bill group to support their bill but do not vote on legislation.  Must write a one-page lobbyist position paper. 

(Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors)


Legislators – Form bill groups of 4 and write a bill.  Present the bill at Pre-Leg I, Pre-Leg II, and at the Springfield Assembly, both in committees and on the floors of the House & Senate.  Vote to pass or defeat legislation.  Will possibly be a mentor to a Legislative Assistant

(Open to Juniors & Seniors, by seniority, age, and registration.  # of positions are limited.)


Attorney – Students will work in attorney pairs to present an appellate case to a mock student youth court.  They will serve in the capacity of prosecution or defense, and will also serve as a youth justice.  Students will prepare a Bench Memo regarding their case and will work with the Attorney Advisor.

(Open to Sophomores (paired with a Junior/Senior), Juniors, and Seniors)


Clerk-Bailiff – Clerk-Bailiffs may assist Attorneys in research, in writing the Bench Memo and may participate in oral arguments but do not serve as Judges in Springfield. This role is an excellent way to gain experience and learn about the Judicial Program.

(Open to Sophomores or Juniors)

2019-2020 CALENDAR
First Meeting: Thursday August 22, 2019 at 3:20 in Room 212
Remind Code: @hlryg20

The program year is September through March. 

September 21 - First Registration Deadline

D-1 and A-1 registration forms and Bill Title Forms through the Y&G website.

Signed Form A-1 and D-2 (Codes of Conduct, Medical Forms and Photo Releases; First Payment of Fees; Financial Assistance Forms to Y&G Office.

October 30, 2019
Legislators must email bill briefs and final copies of bills to  

Links to:
Student Templates (bill title, brief, bill forms, lobbyist info, judicial)
    Illinois Compiled Statutes

November 2, 2019
***Bring snacks as we will NOT be stopping for lunch.

December 7, 2019

January 6, 2020 - Second Payment 
Lobbyist Position Papers and Legislative Assistant Final State Issues Forum

 January 20
, 2020
Judicial Bench Memos submitted to Y&G Office.

February 1, 2020
College Staff Applications to Y&G Office.

February 28-March 1, 2020
 Illinois YMCA Youth & Government Assembly in Springfield, IL.