Students in the Legislative program turn the ideas of Missouri youth into formal laws by writing, debating, and voting on legislation according to specific rules and procedures. The Legislative program also promotes leadership by operating under the direction of elected and appointed student officers. The structure and function of the YAG Legislature is based as closely as possible on those of Missouri’s state legislature, the General Assembly. The Legislature is composed of the Senate and House of Representatives, and each chamber is broken down at times into a number of committees. Both the committees and chambers are comprised of students serving as Senators and Representatives, who during the State Conference debate, vote, and attempt to pass legislation to be signed by the Youth Governor.
The operations of the Legislative program are based on parliamentary procedure and the rules of the Missouri General Assembly except when those guidelines are superseded by the rules of the Missouri YMCA General Assembly. Some years, the Legislative Program also contains a Novice House of Representatives for 9th grade students to learn and get involved in the proceedings.
Participants in the Legislative program are responsible to taking necessary action to determine an area of needed state legislation — a new law, resolution, or constitutional amendment that creates, amends, and/or repeals statutes within the framework of Missouri law. Participants then must construct and submit their complete legislative efforts in proper form and compile information to support the proposed legislation.
Each legislator must author a bill. Representatives may co-author a bill, however there is a limit of two authors per bill. Senators may not co-author bills. Each legislator must submit a proposed piece of legislation to the State Office on or before the deadline date in order to attend the State Conference.
- Google Drive with Legislative Resources
- Bill Submission Form: All Legislative participants must file a bill with the State Office by the stated deadline. If two students are co-authoring a bill, only one form needs to be completed. Any bills submitted after the deadline will not be accepted and the student will be dropped from YAG. Please review the Legislative Program Guide for an overview of the bill format and tips on how to write a bill.
- Legislative Program Guide: Provides an overview of the program, outlines the steps involved in writing a bill, including deciding on an idea, researching your bill, and putting it all together.
- Legislative Leadership Guide: This guide is helpful for students who are serving in a leadership role within the Legislative Program. It contains an overview of the committee process, along with many helpful tips for the program officers.
- Bill Writing Worksheet: This worksheet can assist with taking an idea and turning it into a bill for the State Conference.
- HEAL Bill Guide: In 2019, we have a partnership with the Missouri Convergence Partnership to incentivize students to write bills related to Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) policy. This guide defines what this looks like for the students.
In addition to the elected student leadership, there are a number of leadership positions available for students in the Legislative program. These positions include the following. For more detailed information on the qualifications, duties, and selection process for each position, please refer to the Student Leadership Guide hosted on the MOYAG Google Drive.
- Presiding Officer (Speaker of the House or Lieutenant Governor)
- Floor Leader
- Reading Clerk
- Committee Chairpersons
Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate in the Legislative program.
- Participants must complete the Student Registration Form on the YAG website by the stated deadline to participate at the State Conference.
- Delegation advisors will assign legislators to a specific chamber.
- No bill may have more than two authors. Senators may not co-author bills. Representatives may only co-author with other Representatives.
- Legislators may only author or co-author one bill. The same bill may not be submitted by more than one legislator in a delegation, or two if co-authoring.
- Each legislator must submit a bill using the online form on the YAG website on or before the stated deadline date in order to attend the State Conference.