• Brass-Tacks
  • "In the Know" - Legislative Studies

    Aside from “amendment” there’s another word we are hearing an awful lot of: study.
    A legislative study is a topic examination undertaken that uses legislative resources. These often happen when further research and contemplation needs to happen on specific areas to determine scope of impact, best practices, or potential solutions. These come about as a solution for action. Often times, legislators do not feel they have enough information to make sound policy decisions and will add a study concept into the legislation to further scrutinize a topic. This allows for progression of action but prolongs a potential solution to ensure it’s the correct or better fitting solution.
    Legislative studies that pass either “shall” or “may” study issues. The “shalls” are mandatorily done – these are must haves with no exceptions. The “mays” are optional – these are determined based off issue weight, size of scope of work, and timeliness. “Shalls” take precedent while “mays” are maybes.
    Legislative Management will assign selected mays and mandatory shall studies to specific interim committees. The interim committee will complete the study in about a 16-month period. Activity includes hearings on topics and engaging speakers and subject matter experts who have facts and findings on the topic. This objective scan can produce potential solutions, recommendations, or draft bills. Sometimes the studies even direct agencies to perform work or determine a fiscal appropriation for continuation.
    Currently some of the studies that have been proposed include: foreign ownership property, housing accessibility, childcare programs, EVs, high school sports, hunting, juvenile delinquency, teacher licenses, tax, charitable gaming, eminent domain, antifreeze, youth labor, marijuana, adoption…. As you can see – no topic is off limits.