High school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature June 11-14. At the State Capitol, student senators will sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique process of the nation’s only unicameral.
The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff.
“I believe the backbone of democracy is voter knowledge of our system and their clear understanding of the role citizens need to play in the continued success of our nation.”
– Senator Dan Hughes
Registrants are encouraged to apply for a Greg Adams Civic Scholarship award, which covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other $100 scholarships are also available.
The Office of the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature coordinates the Unicameral Youth Legislature. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Extension 4-H Youth Development Office coordinates housing and recreational activities as part of the Big Red Summer Camps program.
To learn more about the program, go to www.NebraskaLegislature.gov/uyl or call (402) 471-2788. The deadline for registration is May 15.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Unicameral Information Office
At the capitol, this past week we heard a few bills that brought quite a large following. Those were LB 630 introduced by Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill, LB 450 introduced by Senator Chambers of Omaha and finally, LB 622 introduced by Lincoln Senator Anna Wishart.
LB 630 would allow charter schools in districts that have low-performing schools. This bill would create a new Independent Public School Authorizing and Accountability Commission that would oversee the charter schools. LB 630 was heard in committee and is unlikely to be heard by the full legislative body since it is not a priority bill. However, that did not stop proponents and opponents from coming to the capitol last week and voicing their opinions.
Senator Chambers bill LB 450 allows people who are suffering from incurable medical conditions to acquire and self-administer medication that would end their lives. The proposed legislation would require the patient to express a request for life-ending medication both orally and in writing. Both requests must be made to an attending physician and a consulting physician. They would both need to agree the patient is competent to make medical decisions, as well as, acting voluntarily.
LB 622 was introduced by Senator Anna Wishart from Lincoln and is also her priority bill, would lay out the rules for cultivation, production and use of medical cannabis. This bill brought out many proponents including doctors, veterans with combat injuries, out-of-state experts and many individuals who suffered from diseases and conditions that could be treated with the drug, or have a loved one who would benefit from its use. The opponents to this bill are mostly law enforcement and government officials.
Learn what it’s like to serve as a state senator. The Unicameral Youth Legislature is a four-day legislative simulation in which high school students take on the role of lawmakers. Student senators sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique process of the nation’s only unicameral.
The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators, staff and lobbyists. Bill topics are based on legislation considered during the most recent legislative session. From driving laws to the death penalty, topics selected for the legislature are diverse and engaging. The youth legislature is organized by the Nebraska State 4-H Office and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office youth development program.