The Utah State Legislature works furiously in a jam packed 45-day legislative session from January to March. What happens when the flurry of debate ends? Do our representatives just go back to their day jobs? Does the Capitol building close until the next session?
Actually, the Capitol doors stay open and legislators regularly meet once per month on “Interim Days.” On these designated days, interim committees, comprised of selected legislators, discuss certain issues before the start of the next session. Committees are formed based on legislative topics such as education, business and labor, health and human services, and transportation; the members frequently hear from government commissions related to each topic.
The meetings are open to the public. The first Interim this year was held on Wednesday, May 21. Legislators returned to the Hill to wrap up business after the last legislative session and debrief about how their goals set from the previous year fared.
Why are these meetings important? What can a constituent gain from knowing what goes on during interim? It is crucial that members of the public, nonprofits, and other organizations are aware of the issues discussed in these meetings. This is the time when key decisions are made and plans are set in motion for legislation that will be discussed during the next session. Constituents have the opportunity to weigh in on these decisions and help shape the conversation.
If you are unable to be there in person at Capitol Hill, the meetings are free and available live, click here to access: http://le.utah.gov/
You can help influence important decisions that affect at-risk children and families in our community. Speak up. Learn more at uw.org/advocate