Youth and Government looks to set the bar with their bills

Headed+down+to+the+state+capitol%2C+Youth+and+Government+will+have+the+chance+to+participate+in+the+annual+State+Conference+from+Jan.+30%2C+2020+to+Feb.+2%2C+2020.+Having+worked+on+crafting+a+bill+for+countless+hours+prior+to+the+conference%2C+the+students+will+get+hands+on+experience+in+the+lawmaking+process+as+they+present+their+bill.

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Headed down to the state capitol, Youth and Government will have the chance to participate in the annual State Conference from Jan. 30, 2020 to Feb. 2, 2020. Having worked on crafting a bill for countless hours prior to the conference, the students will get hands on experience in the lawmaking process as they present their bill.

Youth and Government is in Austin Thursday-Sunday for the 2020 State Conference with students taking their prepared laws to the capitol to compete with other student proposed legislation from across the state. 

“Students prepare for State Conference by crafting a bill and attending a district conference, and then making changes based on that,” Youth and Government sponsor Sarah Wiseman said. “They also prepare by attending weekly meetings after school at the YMCA and meeting in advisory at Liberty as well.”

The thing I’m most excited about for state is to see our younger students go to debate for the first time and getting to see some of our veterans moving from the lower chambers to the actual floor of the house and senate,”

— Youth and Government sponsor Sarah Wiseman

The conference simulates the real process of making a proposed bill into law, and can give students real world experience in government. 

The thing I’m most excited about for state is to see our younger students go to debate for the first time and getting to see some of our veterans moving from the lower chambers to the actual floor of the house and senate,” Wiseman said. “It’s always really exciting to see them in that context.”

Believing that programs like this are important to preserving democracy, Liberty and Plano YMCA Youth and Government president, senior Sam Mills is excited for debate.

“I’m really just looking forward to seeing what our delegation has, in store just seeing what bills they have been able to come up with, and the speeches that they’ve carried,” Mills said. “It just shows that the youth in this country are really passionate about issues that are affecting us, our families, our communities. It gives me faith for this country.”

The students have put in hours of work crafting their bill, and now must present and defend the aspects of their proposal. 

“I think my biggest struggle will be trying to put myself out there and get chances to speak at floor debate,” junior Anoushka Majumdar said. “It’ll be more cutthroat because there will be a lot of new people, and there’ll be much more people to debate with.” 

Tackling the topic of sexual assault in his bill, Mills sees an injustice is the consequences of different crimes.

I think that the eagerness and sincerity that those younger officers, leaders, and participants have is really refreshing, and it makes me really excited for the future of the club,”

— junior Shivani Kosuri

“For my bill, I focused on sexual assault on Texas,” Mills said. “I think a lot of what the Me Too movement is trying to push for is great, but we’re just falling flat in terms of actually doing stuff. We’re just resorting to virtue signaling at this point, just knowing that people can spend decades in prison for weed possession, but a couple years for raping someone is despicable to me. My bill is making it so that if you are convicted of rape, essentially life in prison instead of what it’s what it is now, which was to 20 years for a second degree sexual assault conviction.” 

Taking almost 100 delegates to the state conference, officer, junior Shivani Kosuri is excited for the future of the club at the Plano YMCA.

“This year is definitely a rebuilding year, we have a lot of underclassmen who are officers and a lot of new participants,” Kosuri said. “I think that the eagerness and sincerity that those younger officers, leaders, and participants have is really refreshing, and it makes me really excited for the future of the club.”