State Senator Jason Barickman/WJEZ file photo
By Neil Doyle
High school students from around central Illinois got the chance this week to discuss politics and develop new ideas for laws in the state.
The youth advisory council met at Illinois State University Wednesday and was hosted by State Sen. Jason Barickman.
The Bloomington Republican said students from over 20 schools in the area worked in groups to develop ideas for new legislation.
“I am always impressed with the quality of debate and discussion,” said Barickman. “Most of these students are not old enough to vote, but they are incredibly well versed on the issues and they communicate their opinions well.”
The students will meet again this spring at the State Capitol.
“We give them an opportunity to run the idea that they come up with through a mock legislative panel,” Barickman said. “It’s always fun because it creates a buzz around the capitol. Everyone knows these students are here and they stop by to meet with them.”
Barickman said his goal is to engage more young people in politics.
“Hopefully it wets the appetite for the students to understand and embrace the notion that they could get involved in some type of public service,” he said.