The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Though the Legislature is not back in session until January, senators are still hard at work to craft bills for 2020. A helpful tool to gather the necessary information on a subject is through interim studies. Interim studies are a lesser-known tool outside of the Capitol, so this column is intended to provide an introduction to this concept.
An interim study is a resolution that any senator can introduce during session. It’s an opportunity to analyze a concept in-depth. This information could then potentially be used for future legislation. After a Senator introduces an interim study, it is assigned to a committee. Each committee prioritizes the studies assigned to them and determines which studies will receive a fall hearing. Interim studies differ from bills in that they are not guaranteed a public hearing. If an interim study does not receive a hearing in the committee’s first round of scheduling, the senator can request one. These hearings are public but testimony is generally invite only. The testimonies are normally given by professionals who are educated on the specific topic and can provide information that will benefit the committee.
This interim, there were 144 resolutions introduced and three of them were mine. LR 95 was introduced to examine the prevalence and economic costs of methamphetamine use in the state. LR 96 was introduced to examine the long-term public power generation and transmission options in the state. LR 134 was introduced to examine the drug testing protocol recently changed by the Division of Children and Family Services for families involved in the child welfare system. Each of these studies could result in legislation for next session, and each topic directly impacts District 1.
Interim studies give senators the chance to dive deeper into issues and hear from those who specialize in the specific area. Studies are a great way to analyze different approaches to a subject, test the waters for potential legislation, or just to learn more about an issue. Interim study hearings began this month and will continue through Thanksgiving.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: email@example.com.