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North Dakota's House has approved the formation of a state youth council.

Sixteen of the council's 21 members would be North Dakotans ages 17 to 24. The lieutenant governor would be the chairman, and four legislators would be members.

The council would last for two years. Its job would be to develop a list of issues of interest to young people and recommend ways to address them. Its report would be due by Sept. 1, 2010.

Valley City Rep. Phillip Mueller says the council would be helpful in suggesting ways to keep young people in North Dakota. Fullerton Rep. Jerry Kelsh says legislators may not listen enough to young people's ideas.

Bismarck Rep. George Keiser says the council is a good idea, but he says it should not be set up in state law.

North Dakota's House voted 51-39 on Thursday to approve the youth council bill. Now it goes to the state Senate.

The bill is HB1463.

Associated Press

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