The Interim Session is upon us, and lawmakers recently met together for their first interim committee meetings. What is an interim session and what do you need to know about them? Here is the 411.
Q. What is the Interim?
A. Unlike other states, the Utah Legislature is a part-time legislature. Legislators convene once a year for a General Session which lasts 45 days, and most state laws are passed during this period. The interim is the time between General Sessions where legislators discuss recently passed legislation, and new issues or upcoming legislation is brought forward to committee members.
Q. What is an Interim Committee?
A. All Interim Committees have the following duties:
- Receive study assignments by resolution from the Legislature.
- Receive study assignments from the Legislative Management Committee.
- Investigate and study possibilities for improvement in government services within its subject area.
- Request and receive research reports from professional legislative staff pertaining to the committee’s study agenda.
- If useful, request, and if necessary, subpoena, testimony from government officials, private organizations, and members of the public on issues being studied by the committee.
- Make recommended legislation to the Legislature based upon the committee’s studies.
Q. Why are Interim Committees important?
A. Interim Committees are important because after studying and reviewing key issues facing Utah, they recommend legislation for the upcoming General Session. These committees are crucial for stakeholders and advocates to understand the topics they should expect during the General Session and to begin finding legislators to sponsor their legislation.
Q. Who sits on Interim Committees?
A. Legislators sit on Interim and General Session committees, and most often have experience and expertise in the committee’s designated area. Usually legislators are appointed to two interim committees as well as one appropriations committee.*
Q. What types of committees meet during the interim?
A. There are 26 committees meeting during the Interim, and they cover all types of laws and subjects. These subjects and committee types range from everything from revenue and tax, health and judiciary, to education, economic development, business and labor, and public lands. For a complete list of committees, click here.
Q. What are some issues I should tune into?
A. The Salt Lake Chamber will monitor and publish updates on all of these committees, especially as they pertain to the business community. Watch for theses updates on our blog.
Q. How can I get involved?
A. Interim committee meetings are a great way to become informed on key policy issues facing the state. Citizens and stakeholders are more than welcome to attend and testify at committee meetings. If you are interested in any specific economic- or business-related issues, consider joining one of the Chamber’s variety of policy committees, attend our upcoming Government Affairs Bootcamp, or participate in the upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.