Wednesday, July 13, 2011

House Speaker Approves Interim Studies

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 8, 2011) – The House of Representatives will conduct 80 interim studies this year and for the first time will require interim study reports be publicly posted and archived.

Speaker Kris Steele
House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, announced the studies and new recordkeeping procedures Friday.
The studies will cover a wide range of topics, including public safety, education, government operations, health care, child and senior care, natural resources and more.
“The House has shown bold, bipartisan willingness to address Oklahoma’s needs through these studies,” Steele said. “The interim study process affords legislators time for in-depth exploration needed to develop positive public policies. I fully expect some of the best work the Legislature does next year to be born out of the interim study process we are beginning this year.”
The House received 126 interim study requests this year.

Steele said requiring public posting of interim study reports will improve the process and increase transparency.
“Good work is done during these studies, but because the Legislature doesn’t always document that work, it is often wondered what is actually done during the interim study process,” Steele said.
This year, once an interim study is complete, a summary report of its work and recommendations will be posted on the House website and archived for future reference. All documents and presentations used during interim study committee hearings will also be posted on the House website and archived. In addition, audio of interim study committee hearings will be streamed live on the House website and remain posted to the House website for future review.
“These changes are part of the House’s ongoing commitment to transparency and increasing the public’s access to the work done by their government,” Steele said. “This small change should produce big results in disseminating useful research, fostering fact-based decisions and retaining institutional knowledge.”
Beginning Aug. 2, interim study hearings can be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the discretion of the chairman of the committee to which the study is assigned. Meeting notices will be posted under existing House committee meeting notice posting guidelines.
Approved interim studies are attached and will also be posted on the interim studies page on the House website.
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