Senate Scholar Dates for 2020:
January 12-17 | February 9-14 | March 22-27
Registration and check-in at the Concourse Hotel, tour the State Capitol.
Overview of How a Bill Becomes a Law: from a constituent’s concern to a Wisconsin Act. Discuss the myths around the “Power of Politics.”
Topic Introduction. An expert will introduce and discuss the week’s public policy initiative.
Developing Legislation. Scholars discuss the ramifications of the week’s public policy initiative with Senate staff and a Legislative Reference Bureau attorney.
Media Roundtable. Discussion about their jobs, their role in the legislative process, and how they would approach a story regarding the week’s public policy initiative.
Constituent Relations. Meet with experienced Senate office staff to discuss serving constituents and the other roles they play in their positions.
Service Agency Roundtable. Meet with the leaders of the nonpartisan legislative service agencies and discuss their vital roles. The Legislative Audit Bureau, Legislative Council, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Legislative Reference Bureau, and Legislative Technology Services Bureau are in attendance.
Intern as a Messenger for Senate Floor Session. Wrap-up discussion at the end of the day concerning session.
How to Draft a Bill. Understanding the intended result, accomplishing that result through accurate writing, and avoiding unintended consequences. Presented by the Legislative Reference Bureau staff.
Legislator Drafting Role Play. Scholars mimic the real world when they present an idea to a Legislative Reference Bureau drafting attorney, the drafter writes the language, and the Senator makes sure the language reflects the intent.
Lunch at the Executive Residence.
Draft a Bill. Draft a bill implementing an idea for legislation to address the constituent concerns under discussion. Review specific issues and bill drafting strategies. Critique the drafts of hypothetical legislation and choose the one that best accomplishes the desired result. That draft will be introduced, distributed to Senate Scholars as bills, and scheduled for a mock committee hearing. Divide into groups according to position on the issues. Scholars may then draft amendments for introduction.
Finish Bill Drafts of Hypothetical Legislation. As a group, critique the drafts of hypothetical legislation and choose those that best accomplish the desired result. The drafts will be introduced, distributed to Senate Scholars as bills, and scheduled for a mock committee hearing. Divide into groups according to position on the issues.
Lobbyists Roundtable. Discussion about their jobs, their role in the legislative process, and how they would proceed with an idea for legislation addressing the week’s public policy initiative.
Visit La Follette School of Public Policy on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
Intern as a Messenger for Senate Floor Session or Committee Hearing. Wrap-up discussion at the end of the day concerning session.
Prepare for Friday’s committee hearing.
The Governor’s Role in the Legislative Process. Presented by the Governor or the Governor’s staff.
The Role of the Judiciary in State Government. Presented by a Supreme Court Justice or judicial staff.
Prepare Testimony for a Mock Committee Hearing. Scholars in the “for” group must prepare to testify in favor of the bill. Those in the “against” group must prepare to testify in opposition of the bill. Groups must anticipate the arguments of the other side, prepare questions to ask those who testify, and prepare responses to questions they are likely to receive.
Mock Committee Hearing. Parents and relatives are welcome to attend and participate. Committee hearing will be staffed by a Senate Committee Clerk.
Reception and Awards Ceremony. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend. Program conclusion. Senate Parlor.
Program concludes and scholars are released from supervision.