Youth Legislature lets teens get involved

Revathi Menon, Staff Writer

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The BRHS Youth and Government Club got a chance to get involved with Louisiana politics at the Youth and Legislature conference on February 16 to 18. Youth and Legislature is a mock legislative conference that allows students to present bills that suggest policies for improving Louisiana. Students, referred to as delegates for the duration of the conference, experienced the process a real legislature would go through. The conference drew students from districts like St. Tammany, Monroe, New Orleans, and Alexandria to participate in solving Louisiana’s problems with comprehensive legislation.

The main purpose of Youth Legislature is to get the youth of Louisiana involved in issues surrounding state policy by providing a safe and constructive environment for students to debate and compromise on their ideas.

“So many times you get into these debates, and they can get really nasty and aggressive. It [Youth Legislature] is sort of this constructed environment where you can have different opinions, and you’re encouraged to,” said senior and BRHS Youth and Government president Sarah Procopio.

Vice President of the BRHS Youth and Government club and senior Kyle Beadle managed to pass his bill. Beadle focused on making Louisianans able to afford parking tickets and court fees, something he claimed would decrease the amount of money Louisiana spends on prisoners.

While this is only a mock-bill, Louisiana leaders sometimes use these bills as inspiration.

“There’s the possibility that your idea will be seen by Governor John Bel Edwards,” said Beadle.

Delegates must have their bill pass the House and the Senate. Beadle described feeling joyful and relieved at his bill’s passage.

“I was also incredibly humbled to have my bill signed by my long-time friend and Youth and Government Club President, the illustrious Sarah Procopio,” said Beadle.

Beadle’s role as Vice President allowed him to see the growth in BRHS delegates concerning their confidence, public speaking, and connections. Beadle claimed that LEG also helps with diverse jobs, other than just the standard politician.

“If you’re a programmer, you have to communicate your algorithm with your peers. Everyone needs communication skills, and LEG is a perfect place to develop them,” said Beadle.

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Youth Legislature lets teens get involved