During their in-school field trip in the ConVal Library on December 20, members of the Youth & Government club meet in groups and with their co-curricular advisors to work on draft bills, researching topics, creating partnerships, and proposing specific legislative language.
This year, the students’ legislative proposals cover a wide range of issues: expanding affordable housing in the state; teaching world languages, starting at the elementary school level; reintroducing grey wolves into their traditional New Hampshire habitats; improving recyclable packaging guidelines; reassessing helmet laws; and restricting the expenditure of political action committee (PAC) monies to the last two weeks of a campaign.
Once formalized, these proposals will be carried forward to the pre-legislative session in March 2023, where state officials will be elected from participating high schools and two students from the state will be selected to participate in the Youth Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. In April 2023, an all-encompassing two-day model legislature session will be held at the State House in Concord.
Youth and Government, also known as Model Legislature and Court, is a program of the YMCA that has been in existence for nearly seven decades. The purpose of the program is to prepare high school students for political citizenship in local, state, or national government roles. The program serves approximately 300 teens from 30 schools throughout New Hampshire.