What is Texas 4-H Congress?
Texas 4-H Congress is a four-day mock legislative experience for 4-H members in grades 9th to 12th (at the time of the event). During this time, 4-H members assume the roles of senators, representatives, lobbyists, press corps, and special interest groups to gain a first-hand understanding of how the legislative process works. Bills that are written and sponsored by 4-H members focus on issues concerning Texas and Texas youth. These bills are assigned to the appropriate committee, debated in committee meetings, and then on the floor of the House or Senate. If a bill is successful in negotiation and the legislative debate in all three stages, it is delivered to the Governor of Texas 4-H Congress for his or her signature or veto. Copies of all the bills that are signed into law during Texas 4-H Congress are provided to the Office of the Governor for review.
Date of Event: July 22 – 25, 2018. (Start Date: Sunday July 22, 2018. Capitol Tours are on Sunday afternoon, with a dinner at 6PM. End Date: Wednesday July 25, 2018. All participants must depart the hotel by 10AM.)
Location: HQ will be at the Sheraton Hotel, 707 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701. Attendees will walk daily to the Texas State Capitol Building
Cost: $350.00 (Includes hotel, meals & snacks, and registration fee). Members may want to bring incidental spending money for the event.
This is a prestigious event reserved for older 4-H members and has very LIMITED space. It is up to the member to meet all deadlines associated with this event, however there is no guarantee all youth interested in attending will be accommodated. Because of the limited space, priority will be given to older 4-H members for the House and Senate that have never attended prior. In order to submit your name onto the waiting list please email Natalie Cervantes at firstname.lastname@example.org with your Name, Age (on July 15, 2018), School Grade, # of Years in 4-H, and if you have attended Congress before (Yes/No) NO LATER THAN MARCH 18, 2018. If you do not send me your name before this deadline you will automatically be placed at the bottom of the waiting list regardless of your priority.
|February 12, 2018||Bill submission opens|
|February 12, 2018||Lobbyist Application Open on 4HConnect|
|February 12, 2018||Press Corps Online Opens on 4HConnect|
|March 23, 2018||Lobbyist Application closes|
|March 23, 2018||Press Corps Application closes|
|March 30, 2018||Lobbyist and Press Corps Notification|
|April 1, 2018||Early Bird Registration Opens on 4HConnect|
|April 30, 2018||Early Bird Registration Closes on 4HConnect|
|May 1, 2018||Registration Opens on 4HConnect|
|May 15, 2018||Bill submission closes|
|May 31, 2018||Registration Closes on 4HConnect|
|June 1, 2018||Late Registration Opens on 4HConnect|
|June 15, 2018||Late Registration Closes on 4HConnect|
|July 10, 2018||District Travel Letters|
|July 10, 2018||Bill Book posted online|
|July 20, 2018||Texas 4-H Council Arrive|
|July 20, 2018||Management Team Arrive|
|July 22, 2018||Adult and Youth Participants Arrive|
|July 25, 2018||All Participants Depart|
SPECIAL POSITIONS & NOTES
The Lobbyist group is designed for 4-H members who have attended Texas 4-H Congress in the past. The responsibility of the Lobbyist group is to identify certain bills and then lobby members of the House and Senate to either pass or defeat the bill. Lobbyist should be knowledgeable about Texas 4-H Congress and the schedule that it follows. Lobbyist members should be prepared to and have the ability to approach other 4-H members and persuade House and Senate members for support. The Lobbyist group will hold a “by invitation only” reception for House and Senate Members, along with Congress Leadership. Apply on 4HConnect from February 12 – March 23, 2018. Notification of Lobbyists for 2018 will be on March 30, 2018.
The Texas 4-H Congress Press Corps play an extremely important part in the success of the event. Press Corps members can be either first time or returning 4-H members to 4-H Congress. Individuals applying for Press Corps should have strong skills in writing, word processing, interviewing, photography, and focused on making deadlines. The press corps is responsible for the publishing of a daily newspaper and helping maintaining a web page/electronic communication. Apply on 4HConnect from February 12 – March 23, 2018. Notification of Press Corp Members for 2018 will be on March 30, 2018.
Any 4-H member, regardless of age or planning on attending Texas 4-H Congress, must submit a legislative bill for consideration. Participation in the bill writing exercise allows 4-H members the opportunity to become engaged in the legislative process and the 4-H citizenship project. 4-H members attending Texas 4-H Congress will be required to submit at least one bill (this includes Texas 4-H Council, Tech Team, etc) prior to their registration to the event being accepted. To learn more on how to write and submit a bill download the “Preparing a Legislative Bill for Texas 4-H Congress” as well as work with your county Extension agent or a volunteer. Submit your bill online from February 12, – May 15, 2018.