Requesting an Interim Committee? All You Need is a Letter

 (Reprinted with updates for the 2019 Legislative Session)

Pursuant to section 2-3-303.3, C.R.S., a legislator who thinks a group of his or her colleagues should study a particular issue during the interim must submit a written request or formal letter to the Legislative Council for consideration and prioritization.

Requesting the creation of an interim study committee is a fairly simple process. A legislator starts by contacting either the Office of Legislative Legal Services or the Legislative Council Staff office to initiate a written request or letter for the creation of the interim study committee. Legislators can also initiate the request through the iLegislate iPad application. The only information the legislator needs to provide when initiating the written request is the general topic that the interim committee will study. Both offices will assign staff to work with the legislator to develop the necessary details for the request and to prepare and finalize a letter. The legislator can also identify lobbyists or others who are authorized to work with staff in crafting the language of the letter.

The final letter must specify key details concerning the interim committee, such as:

• The scope of the policy issues the committee will examine;
• The number of legislators on the committee;
• How many times the committee will meet;
• Whether a task force is needed to assist the committee; and
• An estimate of the number of bills the interim committee may request to address the issues it studies.

The legislator who submits the request may ask other legislators who are in favor of creating the interim study committee to sign on as “supporters” of the request, similar to signing on as cosponsors of a bill or resolution. Unlike bills and resolutions, however, a letter requesting the creation of an interim study committee cannot have joint prime sponsors.

Once the letter is ready, the legislator must submit it to the Legislative Council for consideration by the Executive Committee. For the 2019 legislative session, the deadline for submitting this letter is Friday, April 5, 2019.  Legislative Leadership has stated no exceptions will be granted on this request deadline.

To help ensure adequate time to prepare the final letter for submission to the Executive Committee, a legislator should submit his or her request for a letter to the Office of Legislative Legal Services or the Legislative Council Staff office no later than Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

The Legislative Council will meet no later than Friday, April 19th, this year to review and prioritize all of the interim study requests. Before that meeting, the Director of Research of the Legislative Council will review the 2019-20 legislative budget and report to the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council the number of interim committee meetings that are funded for the 2019 legislative interim. The Legislative Council will consider this information in deciding how many interim studies to prioritize. The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Minority Leaders of the Senate and the House will appoint the legislative members of the prioritized interim committees.

This process is intended for one-time committees that meet during one interim period. Legislators who want to create a long-term, statutory committee will need to do so by introducing a bill.

For questions, please contact the Office of Legislative Legal Services at (303) 866-2045 or the Legislative Council Staff office at (303) 866-3521. A template of the letter used to request an interim study committee can be found here.