State Sen. John Curran welcomed 13 students from across the 41st Senate District to the State Capitol on April 11 to experience a day in the life of a Senator and participate in the legislative process, as part of his first Youth Advisory Council program.
"The Youth Advisory Council program is extremely immersive and collaborative,” said Curran. “The students debate the policies that are most significant to them, and then work together to compromise and vote on the final legislative proposal. I was also excited to have three highly-respected guest speakers talk about their government experience and answer the students’ questions about public policy, the legislative process and current issues. I hope each student left today with greater knowledge of state government and possibly an interest in pursuing public service.”
Curran’s Youth Advisory Council program first brought the students together in the fall to discuss, propose and vote on legislation. The winning bill then advanced to the spring meeting at the Capitol this week. The students selected a legislative proposal that focused on strengthening the eligibility requirements for the state’s financial assistance program for people in need.
The students participated in a mock committee hearing, where they were broken up into groups representing State Senators from the Republican and Democrat caucuses. This simulation gave them a chance to debate their legislative proposal.
Curran featured three speakers to offer their perspectives of state government to the students, including State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru), State Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) and former House Republican Chief of Staff Matt O’Shea. Students also had the opportunity to meet with other elected officials and tour the State Capitol building, as well as join Curran on the Senate Floor.
Participating schools included Chesterton Academy of The Holy Family, Downers Grove North High School, Downers Grove South High School and Lyons Township High School. Curran invites teachers and students from all surrounding high schools to reach out to him about participating in future Youth Advisory Councils. To contact his district office, please call (630) 796-2623 or visit senatorcurran.com.