Interim studies are studies of legislative and policy issues that may be requested by any member of the House or Senate. They often address issues that have been the subject of legislation that failed to pass in previous sessions, or emerging issues that are deemed worthy of more in-depth consideration.
Interim studies must be requested by House and Senate members by a deadline set by each chamber. The two chambers handle interim study requests differently. In the Senate, the President Pro Tem assigns all interim study requests to the appropriate Senate committee; the committee chair then decides which studies will be heard. In the House, the Speaker decides which studies to approve or disapprove. In some cases, House study requests on similar subjects are combined into a single study. Some studies may be considered jointly by the House and Senate. In 2023, Senate President Pro Tem approved 61 interim studies while House Speaker Charles McCall approved 85.
Interim studies are typically held from September to November and usually meet at the State Capitol. A committee may devote anywhere from a single hour to several full meetings to each study. Local and national experts may be invited to testify at interim study meetings. Interim studies rarely generate formal reports or recommendations, but their work can guide future legislation.