Tuesday, July 28, 2020

House Speaker, Senate Pro Tem announce 2020 interim studies

Speaker Shares Approved Interim Studies

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 24th) – House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, today announced approval of more than 70 interim studies requested by lawmakers and assigned to House committees.

McCall approved 74 interim studies after receiving 92 study requests from members. Four study requests were combined with another study to examine similar topics. Additionally, four of the 74 studies have been approved as joint studies to be conducted in partnership with the Senate.

The approved studies cover a wide range of topics, including criminal justice reform, economic development and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic within the state. Having been approved, House committees may now begin scheduling studies.

However, due to ongoing construction at the State Capitol limiting the number of available House conference rooms, hearings will occur only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. In previous years, interim studies typically met on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“The ability to meet, gather data and speak with experts on matters that are important to the state is one of the most important times in the legislative process,” McCall said. “These are complex issues that require adequate time to examine, and interim studies give lawmakers the opportunity to dive more deeply into issues than there may be time for during a busy legislative session. These studies bring together different viewpoints and allow lawmakers more time to ask questions so we have a better understanding of the potential effects of certain policies prior to taking any legislative action.”

Specific dates will be assigned to each House committee and each study will be allotted four hours for the hearing. House committee chairs will now begin scheduling hearings. The studies can begin August 4 and must be completed by October 29.

Studies will be livestreamed on the House website, and all handouts, PowerPoints presentations or documents utilized at hearings will be available online as well.

A full list of approved studies can be viewed at https://okhouse.gov/Committees/ShowInterimStudies.aspx.

Pro Tem Treat announces approved 2020 interim studies

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 24th) – The leader of the Oklahoma Senate on Friday released the list of approved studies for the 2020 interim. Senators submitted 64 requests and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said that 39 study requests were approved.

Treat said the study requests were assigned to the standing Senate policy committee with jurisdiction over the subject matter of the request. Now that the studies have been assigned to Senate committees, committee chairs will determine when to conduct the studies, Treat said.

This legislative interim presents logistical challenges which led to fewer interim studies being approved, Treat said. Due to the ongoing renovation of the Capitol, the Senate only has one available committee room for use this interim. Treat also said the Senate intends to implement social distancing due to COVID-19 which further limits the ability to hold more studies.

“In a typical year, we can accommodate most interim study requests. But this is not a typical year. With only one Senate committee room available for use and the need to implement social distancing due to COVID, we limited each senator to no more than two approved study requests. There are some great topics to cover this year and I look forward to what ideas develop during interim studies,” Treat said.

The list of approved studies is available on the Senate website. When interim studies are scheduled, Senate committees will send hearing notices, which also will be published on the Senate website.

Treat said interim studies must be completed by Friday, October 30.


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