Welcome to Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Model Legislature (“RIML”) is a hands-on civics experience for students to discover the legislative process by taking on the role of lawmakers. It is sponsored by the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies (RICCS), Rhode Island’s professional organization for elementary, secondary, and college educators of history and the social sciences. RICSS is an affiliate of NCSS.
Rhode Island Model Legislature is the oldest program of its kind in the United States. Since the 1946-47 school year, RI students have taken over the State House with their own legislation, leaders and ideas! Join us this year!
About The Program
Rhode Island Model Legislature is an annual simulation of the RI General Assembly. Students experience the legislative process with a hands-on, “learn by doing” approach. Students in the school clubs begin by choosing political parties (Liberal or Conservative), electing delegates, and drafting legislation. Delegates also have the opportunity to interview for positions on the Model Legislature Leadership Committee. Once all the member schools’ legislation bills is submitted to the digital portal, a Caucus Day is held. Students from around the state approve their respective party platforms and have the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded colleagues. Immediately following the Caucus, students attend the annual Committee Day, conducting mock sessions of the five committees in each chamber: HEW, Judiciary, Labor, Corporations & Finance, and Special Legislation. Bills that pass through Committees are sent to the respective chambers — the House of Representatives or the Senate — for Model Legislature Day, where students occupy the actual General Assembly chambers, sitting in the same seats as their own state senators and representatives, and debate and vote on legislation they themselves wrote.
In addition, in 2020 our pen-and-paper program transitioned to Model Legislature 2.0, a fully digital platform that has been several years in the making. A number of program elements have been streamlined to make RIML easier for both students and school advisors to participate. Training videos on our YouTube channel explain how the entire program works! It has made it much easier for students and school advisors to find information, submit legislation, and communicate with fellow legislators. For example, all forms required for RI Model Legislature registration are located here.
The prototype of the digital platform went live just before the Covid-19 closed down our face-to-face program. The new digital interface enabled students and advisors in 2020-2021 participate virtually in Rhode Island Model Legislature during the pandemic, a situation that, while not ideal, was better than the alternative of cancelling the program. We are very grateful for the students and advisors who worked so hard to make last year’s virtual model legislature such a success!
Model Legislature Digital Initiative
As of 2020, the Rhode Island Model Legislature has transitioned entirely from a paper-and-pen based program to 100% paperless. This digital platform utilizes custom accounts for every delegate and advisor, and allows for digital submission of bills and other information via customized portals for every school in the program. If you are looking for the digital platform and you are a student or advisor who has not set up your account, please contact Nicholas Barrow at [email protected]