What Is Interim Study?
The Assembly Public Safety Committee sent one bill interim study
By Chris Micheli, April 27, 2023 5:24 pm
For those who watched or participated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing on seven fentanyl bills on April 27, 2023, you would have heard that one bill was sent to “interim study.” Such a motion has not been regularly made in many years, so a short refresher may be in order.
Obviously, a committee in the California Legislature can pass a bill, hold a bill, or defeat a bill. For bills that are held in committee, there are some subtle differences, as set forth below:
- Held in Committee – this means a bill failed to get sufficient votes to pass out of committee.
- Held under Submission – this means an action taken by a committee when a bill is heard in committee and there is an indication that the author and the committee members want to work on or discuss the bill further, but there is no motion for the bill to progress out of committee. This does not preclude the bill from being set for another hearing.
- Held without Recommendation – this means an action taken by a committee when a bill is heard in committee and there is no indication that the committee wants the bill to progress out of committee. There is no motion for the bill to progress out of committee. This does not preclude the bill from being set for another hearing.
- Interim Study – this means the assignment of the subject matter of a bill to the appropriate committee for study during the interim recess.
- Put Over – this means when action is delayed on a legislative measure until a future date without jeopardy to the measure.
The Senate Rules do not discuss “interim study.” However, Assembly Rule 59, titled “Subject Matter of Bill Recommended for Interim Study,” does. AR 59 provides:
Whenever it is the decision of a standing committee that a bill referred to that committee shall not be given a do-pass recommendation, but that the subject matter of the bill should be referred for study, that standing committee shall retain the bill in its possession and report its recommendation to the Assembly that the subject matter of the bill be referred to the Committee on Rules for that committee’s assignment of the subject matter to an appropriate committee. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to prohibit a committee from subsequently reporting the bill to the Assembly with a do-pass or do-pass as amended recommendation or from reporting it out of committee without further action on the final day of the session.
When are “interim study” bills heard? Normally, it is after adjournment during the first year of the 2-year California Legislative Session. Joint Rule 51(a) specifies the calendar for the first year of the regular session. JR 51(a)(4) provides for the “Interim Study Recess—The Legislature shall be in recess from September 14 until the first Monday in January, except when the first Monday is January 1 or January 1 is a Sunday, in which case, the following Wednesday.”
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