YOUTH Sen. Easton Joel C. Dela Cruz will introduce Youth Congress Bill 18-1, which proposes to make representation in the Youth Congress mandatory in all schools.
The 18th Youth Congress will hold its first session on June 16 at 10:30 a.m. in the Senate chamber.
Y.C.B. 18-1 seeks to repeal Public Law 17-22.
According to Dela Cruz's bill: “Each private and public high school, with a student population of 20, is mandated to have one youth senator.”
Further, the measure will require private and public high schools with more than 500 students to have one additional youth senator for every 500 students.
Currently, there are five members of the Youth Congress. Youth Speaker Cielo Citlalli G. Long, Youth Vice Speaker Liekeila'akata Iakopo, Youth Congress Floor Leader YuriHana Sasamoto, Secretary Abriette Manglona and Dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz's bill states that five members are “not adequate to represent the youth of the CNMI as a whole.”
Bills passed by the Youth Congress are forwarded to the governor and the presiding officers of the Legislature “for disposition.”
Signed by then-Gov. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero in September 1993, Public Law 8-27 established the Youth Congress with eight members from Saipan, one each from Tinian and Rota, two from each private and public junior high school, two from each private and public senior high school, and three from Northern Marianas College.
In October 2010, Public Law 17-22 was signed by then-Gov. Benigno R. Fitial in light of low and declining student voter turnout in Youth Congress elections.
Under P.L. 17-22, “Each private and public high school, with a student population of 20 or more that wishes to participate, shall have one [youth] senator.”
The government’s fiscal year 2021 budget allotted $29,037 for the Youth Congress.