BOSTON, Mass. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS) – State Senator Don Humason is seeking nominees to participate in the 77th Citizens’ Legislative Seminar (CLS) to be held October 17-18 at the State House in Boston. CLS is a semi-annual educational seminar geared towards adults of all ages interested in learning more about state government and the legislative process.
“As a Legislator who values transparency in government, I am always excited by the opportunity to invite my constituents to the State House in order to learn about the inner workings of our state government first hand,” said Senator Humason. “This program is great because it provides an in-depth tutorial of the legislative process and allows participants to get a unique, hands-on experience.”
CLS was originally established in 1976 through a joint effort of the Massachusetts State Senate and the University of Massachusetts, Boston. The seminar is offered twice a year in the spring and fall. The curriculum includes the “History of the Legislature”, “The Formal Legislative Process”, “The Informal Legislative Process”, “The Budget”, “The Parliamentary Role of the Clerk of the Senate” and “The Future of the Legislature”. The presentations are made by Senators and Senate staff.
The seminar will walk participants through the legislative process including how bills are introduced, debated, and passed. The CLS culminates with a simulated legislative hearing and Senate session where participants are invited to use what they have learned and participate as “Senators” in the Senate Chamber in order to have a first-hand experience of the legislative process.
Chris Power, Humason’s director of communications, said participants leave with a better understanding of how government works.
Power said the seminar takes participants from the idea stage to initial filing, to a look behind the scenes when legal counsel reviews how the bill lines up with existing laws. Participants then engage in a mock debate while sitting in Senate seats, with a current Senator presiding over the session.
Power said in the past, participants have included municipal officials and city councilors, people from industry, the press, and folks who are interested in how the government works. Another similar program, Student Government Day, is held on the first Friday in April for high school students.
Power said that while it can be difficult to get people from Western Mass. to participate in the two-day middle of the week seminar in October, it is worthwhile.
“In the two days, they get a pretty good idea of how the process works,” Power said.
Participants in CLS must be sponsored by their senator, and must be able to attend both days of the seminar. Interested residents in the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire District are invited to contact Senator Humason’s Boston Office by calling (617) 722-1415. The deadline for nominations is Friday, August 12th. Seats are limited and nominations are taken on a first come, first serve basis.
Senator Humason represents the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, which consists of the cities of Agawam, Easthampton, Holyoke, Westfield, and parts of the city of Chicopee; and the towns of Granville, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Southwick and Tolland.
The Senator maintains a district office for the convenience of his constituents and encourages them to contact him at his district office at 64 Noble Street in Westfield, Massachusetts 01085, (413) 568-1366; or his Boston office, State House, Room 313A, Boston, Massachusetts 02133, (617) 722-1415. His email address is Donald.Humason@MASenate.gov.
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