Trenton– The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that would create the New Jersey Legislative Youth Council.
The bill, S-3164, would establish a forum for New Jersey youth to advise the Legislature and all of its committees, commissions, and task forces on their needs, opinions and welfare for all youth in New Jersey. The Council would identify and implement effective policies, programs and services that the State could provide its youth.
“The youth of this state are the next generation. Eventually, they will lead this state and the New Jersey Legislative Youth Council will give individuals a two-year term to research, analyze and recommend changes they feel are necessary to implement,” said Senator Gopal (D- Monmouth). “The voices and input of young people will only help our legislators best meet all of our constituents’ needs and improve our great state.”
“I greatly appreciate Senator Gopal’s efforts to empower the youth of our state. Engagement and participation by our youth in civic life are essential to maintaining the strength of our democracy,” said Zach Dougherty, a former intern for the 11th Legislative District and leader of the campaign for a New Jersey Legislative Youth Council. “I’m looking forward to this bill serving as a catalyst for change within New Jersey’s rising generation.”
Three legislators in each legislative district would appoint one public member, between the ages 15 to 23 at the time of appointment, to the council based on applications submitted from residents of their respective districts. Legislative members would be required to be appointed to the council within 60 days of the bill’s enactment to fulfill a non-voting supervisory role on the council.
The committee advanced this bill by a vote of 5-0.