Commonwealth House & Senate

Commonwealth Overview

HS & MS | See Eligibility Chart
Second Level of the House and Senate

Commonwealth Resources Folder
Guides, Scripts, and Templates

6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
1st Year BG BG B/C* BG BG B/C* CW
2nd Year CW CW BG BG CW CW
3rd Year CW BG BG CW CW
4th Year BG BG CW CW
5th Year B/C* CW CW
6th Year CW CW
7th Year CW
*Advisor’s discretion based on student experience

 

Commonwealth Delegates serve as State Representatives and Senators. They rank, debate, and vote on bills that are written and sponsored by delegates from each school.

There is no limit on the number of Commonwealth Delegates a school can register for KYA, but each school can only sponsor a max of 5 Commonwealth Bills.

The number of Commonwealth Bills a school can sponsor depends on how many Commonwealth Delegates (see the Delegate Roles section below) a school has at KYA:

# of CW Delegates* # of CW Bills
1-15 1
16-30 2
31-45 3
45-60 4
61+ 5 (Max)

*Total includes all delegate roles listed below as well as Committee Chairs, but excludes all other Presiding & Supporting Officers.

 

Delegate Roles

Only students in the three roles below count towards your total when determining how many bills your school can sponsor.

State Representatives & Senators
All Commonwealth Delegates rank, debate, and vote on bills as either Representatives or Senators (Y-Staff assign chambers).

Bill Sponsors (1-4 per bill)
Senators or Representatives who present a bill from their school. Bill Sponsors are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Billwriting & Research – Lead the research and writing of their bill
  • Bill Trifold – Design and assemble the Trifold Board for their bill
  • Presenting Bill – Present the bill during Education Fair, Committees, and House/Senate Debate

Parliamentarians (2 per school)
Serve as Clerks and Doorkeepers during Committees, but maintain speaking and voting rights. Based on their performance, select Parliamentarians are chosen to serve during House/Senate debate.

 

Supporting Officers

Committee Chairs / Pro Tempore
Appointed by Delegation | 1-2 per delegation (Grades 8/12)

  • Delegations with less than 50 students can appoint 1 Committee Chair, and those with 50+ can appoint 2 Chairs (Must be 8th Grade for MS, 12th Grade for HS).
  • Must attend one of our KYA Supporting Officer Trainings in October (Committee Chairs can choose either date).
  • Chairs run debate during Committees at KYA. They should be experienced with KYA parliamentary procedure.
  • Based on their Committee performance, Chairs can be chosen as Pro Tempores that preside over the Hotel House or Senate for their Tags (Blue/Red).

House Clerk & Senate Clerk
Appointed by Speaker/Sen. President

  • Must attend KYA Supporting Officer Training 1 in October.
  • Serves as the lead Parliamentarian for their chamber.
  • Serve as Clerk during Committees and during House/Senate debate at the Capitol, and will assist in preparing the other Parliamentarians.

 

Presiding Officers

Speaker of the House
Elected from Candidates

  • Manages the House before and during Assembly.
  • Presides over the House during floor debate at the Capitol

President of the Senate
Elected from Candidates

  • Manages the Senate before and during Assembly
  • Presides over the Senate during floor debate at the Capitol

 

Assembly Agenda

Education Fair | Day 1
Bill Sponsors set-up Trifold Boards to present their bills to other Commonwealth Delegates, who visit the boards to learn about the bills they will debate.

Committee Hearings | Day 1
After Education Fair, Commonwealth Delegates go to Committees. Bill Sponsors present their bills, then delegates debate and rank the bills to determine which bills are debated at the Capitol (top-ranked bills) or the Hotel on Day 2.

To rank bills, delegates use Ranking Sheets – one sheet per school in each committee – and rank bills on the following criteria (1-5 on each, poor to excellent):

  • Debatability – Are valid points raised on both sides during debate?
  • Feasibility – Is it possible for the state government to implement this law?
  • Importance – Is this policy issue is important enough to create a law?
  • Presentation – Is there evidence of training and research by the Bill Sponsors?
  • Creativity – Are the proposed ideas, actions and solutions unique?

House/Senate Debate | Day 2
Based on ranking, all bills are debated at either the Capitol or Hotel by the full House/Senate. Bills are voted on and either passed or defeated. If a bill is passed by one chamber, the Sponsors go present in the other. If both chambers pass a bill, the Sponsors sign-up to meet the Governor.

Meeting with Governor | Day 2
Once a bill passes the House and Senate, Sponsors sign-up to meet with the Governor. Sponsors have 3 minutes to present to the Governor, followed by questions and discussion that help determine whether the Governor will sign or veto the bill.

Veto Override (HS Only) | Day 3
If the Governor vetoes a bill, the Sponsors can try to override the veto by adding their bill to the Override docket. Bills on the docket require a 2/3 majority vote of the Assembly to be heard. If heard, the Governor and Sponsors each get 1 min. to speak before voting. A simple majority vote is required to override the veto and enact the bill into law.

 

Awards

Outstanding Speakers
Awarded to the delegates who are nominated by advisors and staff based on their presence and performance while speaking during debate.

Outstanding Parliamentarian
Awarded to the delegate(s) who best fulfill the duty of Parliamentarian by being prompt, respectful, and effective.

Outstanding Bill
Awarded to the delegation and Bill Sponsors with the most well-researched and well-presented bill based on Advisor nominations and student ranking.

Additionally, Bills can also be honored with the distinctions:

  • Signed Into Law – Bills signed into law by the Governor or by an override of the Governor’s Veto.
  • Passed by House & Senate – Bills that pass both House and Senate but are not signed into law.

Outstanding Bill Packet
Awarded to the delegation whose Bills (at least 2) demonstrate the highest level of preparation and presentation based on advisor nominations and student ranking.