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Related Link: Youth Cabinet
Missouri is the first state to form a youth cabinet. The cabinet will consist of 20 young people from all over Missouri between the ages of 17 and 22. The governor has said young people need to have a greater voice in policy decisions and that's why he wanted to form a youth cabinet to advise him.
Ben Smilowitz is heading the effort to form the cabinet. He says it's designed to encourage participation. Smilowitz says he hopes a wide range of young people will apply for the cabinet. He says it's not just for young people with good grades.
With a tight state budget, money is scarce for new programs like the youth cabinet. Smilowitz says there will be four cabinet meetings each year and the state will pay for the young people's transportation to the meetings. In addition, Smilowitz, a college student receives a stipend for promoting and recruiting young people for the cabinet. All totaled, Smilowotz says the program has a 20 thousand dollar price tag.
With several state departments kicking in a few thousand dollars each, the budget is slowly coming together for the youth cabinet. Smilowitz says he believes the investment will produce a big payout in the form of youth participation.
For more information on the youth cabinet, call 314-877-0930