On April 16, several students from the 32nd Senate District took part in Part Two of State Senator Pamela Althoff’s first Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at the McHenry County Administrative Offices in Woodstock, which gave students a hands-on learning experience about public policy and the legislative process.
“This is such a great group of kids who are truly engaged in what’s going on in the world and who are looking to make a difference,” said Sen. Althoff. “I hope this program furthered their interest in public policy, and I hope they walked away with a better sense of the legislative process here in Illinois.”
Senator Althoff’s YAC program brings students together twice a school year to discuss, propose, and vote on legislation. Part One took place in the fall where students broke into groups to develop ideas for possible state legislation. They then took a popular vote and chose one mock legislative proposal, which addressed redistricting reform. That winning bill then advanced to the spring meeting, which took place Monday.
Monday’s event began with presentations from a variety of guest speakers including Dr. Aslam Zahir—President of the McHenry County Medical Society, Lt. James Wagner—McHenry County Sheriff, and Ross Morreale—Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois
Following the speakers’ presentations, students participated in a mock committee hearing, where they were broken up into groups representing the major players in the realm of public policy including senators, lobbyists, concerned citizens, and members of the media. This simulation gave them a chance to debate the legalization of marijuana legislation they chose on in the fall.