In Michigan, the state legislature enacts the laws; levies taxes and appropriates funds from money collected for the support of public institutions and the administration of the affairs of state government; proposes amendments to the state constitution, which must be approved by a majority vote of the electors; and considers legislation proposed by initiatory petitions. The legislature also provides oversight of the executive branch of government through the administrative rules and audit processes, committees, and the budget process; advises and consents, through the Senate, on gubernatorial appointments; and considers proposed amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The majority of the legislature's work, however, entails lawmaking. Through a process defined by the state constitution, statute, and legislative rules, the legislature considers thousands of bills (proposed laws) during each 2-year session. Check out the Michigan State Legislature online for more information.
At Michigan Youth in Government, students participating in the Legislature program write their own bills, elect their own leaders and advocate for policies that they believe will make their communities better. The teens complete the background research, write a bill on a state topic of their choosing, and prepare to make the case for their bill. Additionally they need to prepare to deliberate bills written by their fellow legislators. Team work is an essential part of passing legislation both locally and state-wide. Through the legislative process of YMCA MYIG teens build lasting friendships, gain leadership skills, gain civil discourse skills and are empowered to use their voice now and into the future.
YMCA Michigan Youth in Government's Legislative branch emulates Michigan's Legislative bodies in many ways. Students will participate in joint House and Senate committees to discuss the bills that they have written, then vote on whether or not to pass them onto the chambers.
Between committee sessions, students will attend either House or Senate chamber sessions. It is there they will discuss the bills that have been passed on from committees. If a bill is passed in either chamber, it will then be sent to the opposite chamber to be debated. If passed in that chamber, the bill will come before the Youth Governor who will either sign or veto it. The Senate consists of 38 members and seats are given to the top delegates from each delegation. The House of Representatives consists of 110 members and is open to any student. If vetoed, the bill will come before the body as a whole for a possible veto override.