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Posted by: Deborah Zimmerle Boudreaux on Sep 20, 2018

Civic Achievement Through Activism in the Legislature by Young Students in Tennessee

WELCOME TO THE CATALYST PROGRAM! This program is designed to help students get their voices heard by the General Assembly of the Great State of Tennessee! 
How can you engage? Create a CATALYST Group at your school. Brainstorm about issues you see in your community and State you'd like to see addressed by law. These can range from the mundane to the extraordinary! 
Please review the rules and recommendations for the program in the following video. 
Also, please watch "How to Draft a Bill" before embarking on the drafting process. 
Then, draft your bill and submit to the Tennessee Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division through
Submissions are due no later than 5:00 PM on December 15th!  We look forward to hearing your great ideas!

Get started by brainstorming issues you see in your community you'd like to see addressed. Tackle the obvious or be creative as you want. Be mindful of the following when discussing topics you may want to have considered by the legislature:

  • Is the issue I want to address already addressed by law?
  • Will my proposed solution to the issue I want to address violate any current laws on the books?
  • Will my proposed solution to the issue I want to address violate the Tennessee Constitution or the United State Constitution? What would be the likely expense to tax payers?
  • Who would my proposed solution help?
  • Who, if anyone, would it hurt? How would it hurt them?
  • Is the cost or the harm done to others outweighed by the benefit of the proposed solution? How?
  • Talk about your proposal with a friend or classmate. Ask them to be critical of the proposal. What concerns did they raise?
  • How would you address those concerns in a debate with someone who opposed your proposal?

Remember!! The bill filing deadline is in February! The TBA YLD requires all submissions to be filed with them NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 15th.

(Individual videos on the following:)

Things To Consider When Proposing New Legislation
Timelines and Deadlines To Be Mindful Of
How to Draft A Bill
How to Find A Sponsor For Your Bill