SB 5102

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported By Senate Committee On:
Early Learning & K-12 Education, February 26, 2007

Title: An act relating to modifying the legislative youth advisory council.

Brief Description: Modifying the legislative youth advisory council.

Sponsors: Senators McAuliffe, Pridemore, Fairley, Shin, Berkey, Kohl-Welles, Delvin, Rasmussen, Prentice, Hobbs, Jacobsen and Kilmer.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 2/07/07, 2/26/07 [DPS-WM].

Ways & Means: 3/01/07.


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5102 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.Signed by Senators McAuliffe, Chair; Tom, Vice Chair; Holmquist, Ranking Minority Member; Brandland, Clements, Eide, Hewitt, Hobbs, Kauffman, Oemig, Rasmussen, Weinstein and Zarelli.

Staff: Susan Mielke (786-7422)


Staff: Bryon Moore (786-7726)

Background: In 2005, the Legislature established the Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council to examine issues of importance to youth and to advise the Legislature on these issues and related legislation.

The council is comprised of 22 members between the ages of 14-18, who serve for two years. Each of the two major caucuses in the Senate and House of Representatives appoints five of the members, and the Governor appoints two. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction administers the council.

The council can meet between three and six times a year, hold up to two public hearings, and conduct educational seminars for its members. It must report annually on its activities and any recommendations for legislation.

The Legislative Youth Advisory Council expires June 30, 2007.

Summary of Bill: The membership, duties, and expiration of the Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council are changed.

The membership of the council is expanded to include four members of the Legislature as advisors. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives will each appoint two legislators. The minimum age for appointment to the council is lowered from age 14 to age 12.

Soliciting and accepting grants and donations from public and private sources to support the activities of the council is added to the council's duties.

The expiration of the council is removed.

EFFECT OF CHANGES MADE BY RECOMMENDED SUBSTITUTE AS PASSED COMMITTEE (Early Learning & K-12 Education): Intent language is added that the Legislature intends to make improvements to the program and expand the opportunities for students to participate by creating regional councils. Nine regional councils are created with the same boundaries as the nine educational service districts. Each regional council must consist of at least five but no more than nine members who, at the time of appointment, are students age 14 to 18. Students may apply to the program by completing an application form and submitting the form to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant Governor is encouraged to put the application forms on-line. Students are encouraged to seek a letter of recommendation from a local state legislator to submit with the application. By July 2, 2007, and annually thereafter, the Lieutenant Governor must select the members for the regional councils from the applications. Each regional council must select a chair from among its members.

Regional council members will not receive per diem, however, they will be reimbursed for travel expenses. The duties of the regional council duties are as follows:
   1)   meet three times a year at the educational service district within the region to discuss policy issues of importance to youth. Each regional council must consider conducting at least some of the meetings via the K-20 telecommunications network. Councils are encouraged to invite local state legislators to participate in the meetings. Each regional council is encouraged to poll other students in order to get a broad perspective on the various issues. The regional councils are encouraged to use technology to conduct the polling, including the council's website, if the council has a website;
   2)   advise the Legislature on proposed and pending legislation and policy matters relating to youth;
   3)   select one member to attend a state meeting to present information to the Lieutenant Governor and members of the Legislature. The presentation could include proposals that a legislator could subsequently have drafted as a bill; and
   4)   accept (but not solicit) grants and donations.

Educational service districts must provide the administration, coordination, and facilitation assistance for the regional meetings. Each educational service district must consider creating a website for the regional council on the website of the educational service district and is encouraged to conduct outreach to students to publicize the program. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor will provide the administration, coordination, and facilitation assistance for the state meeting. This section expires June 30, 2009, unless the Legislature acts to extend the program.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on March 1, 2007.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: Yes.

Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO: There is a growing disconnect between policy makers and youth. This program allows youth to participate in the process on issues that affect our future and enables students to personally engage in civics activities. Some may say that twelve-year-olds are too young to participate, but there is an application process, which will help determine who are the most mature and interested students who should participate. Adding the four legislators in an advisory capacity will improve how the council communicates with the Legislature. Currently, the council funding only allows the council to meet three times a year and that is not enough. This bill would allow the council to solicit and receive funds, which will help provide extra funding.

Persons Testifying (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO: Kate Berry, Chair, Legislative Youth Advisory Council; Alex Jonlin, ex officio member, Legislative Youth Advisory Council.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Ways & Means): PRO: Since 2005 when this program was initiated, it has been invaluable in getting youth engaged in discussing public policy issues. However, the program has been hampered by inadequate support. The regional structure of this bill will provide that needed support structure. We looked around to what other states had done, and this was one of the best approaches.

Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Senator McAuliffe, prime sponsor.