Our mission is to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of civic participation among Louisiana's young people. As citizens and the future leaders of our state, we believe that in order to improve our state, it is fundamental that we be active and engaged to enact positive change, and influence our governmental system for the better. By facilitating discussion, provoking thought, and encouraging action on the part of our peers, the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council strives to have an integral part in forming our future.
"To examine and facilitate communication between youth and the legislature regarding issues of importance to youth, including but not limited to education, employment, strategies to increase youth participation in local and state government, safe environments for youth, substance abuse, underage drinking, emotional and physical health, poverty, litter and environmental control, driver's licenses, and youth access to state and local services."
In the 2007 Regular Session of the Louisiana State Legislature, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 46 by then-Senator Gerald "Jerry" Theunissen. The bill, which became
Act 118, created LYAC
. The bill grew out of Sen. Theunissen's visit to an 8th grade class at a south Louisiana high school as part of his participation in the Legislators Back to School Program, a national effort that encourages lawmakers to meet with students to put a face on public service and to promote a greater understanding of how representative democracy works.
As part of his classroom visit, Sen. Theunissen challenged the students to help him draft legislation for lawmakers to consider that would be meaningful to young people across the state.
The students accepted the challenge and the idea for LYAC was born.
The students helped draft the proposed new law, met with key state officials and lawmakers to gain support for their bill, and testified before legislative committees considering the measure. On June 25, 2007, then-Governor Kathleen Blanco signed the bill into law