(STATHOUSE) Jan. 23, 2008 - Today, House Bill 1162 (HB 1162) authored by Rep. Matt Bell (R-Avilla), passed out of the House Local Government Committee with a vote of 11-1. HB 1162 allows a mayor to appoint an individual less than 18 years old to serve as an advisor to the city legislative body on matters affecting youth in the community.
"Decisions are made everyday by city councils that vastly affect today's youth, but due to their age they are not allowed to participate in the legislative process," said Rep. Bell. "By providing the city council with a youth advisor, the community and young people will benefit by having the opportunity to have their voices heard."
Individuals would be appointed by mayors in each participating city for the city council. The appointed youth would not be an active voting member of the council, but an advisor to the legislation process.
Currently, the city council youth advisor program is being used in 40 different cities and towns, including Kendallville in District 83. Participants in the Kendallville program and legislators have provided positive feedback.
Rep. Bell is suggesting that this program be made as easy as possible for city leaders to get their youth active in the legislative process. The program has also proven to be instrumental in getting parents involved in the process.
Rep. Bell encourages constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling the Statehouse toll-free at 1-800-382-9841, or by writing him at 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.