Interim Legislative Charges
The laws that come out of a legislative session are often the product of work that occurred during the preceding interim—the period between the end of one legislative session and the start of the next. 

During the interim, TEPC and other advocates have the opportunity to help educate lawmakers on issues and policy priorities that will inform their upcoming legislative agenda.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Lt. Governor kick off the interim work by distributing “charges” or specific topics for the committees in their respective chambers to study, consider in legislative hearings and sometimes make recommendations on.

This interim, the Texas Environmental Protection Coalition will help educate lawmakers and track their work on issues regarding the effects of the Texas aggregate & concrete industries.

The interim charges TEPC is currently tracking:

♦ State Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, is urging House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to assign an interim charge for a House committee to study how Texas can more tightly regulate construction aggregate businesses. Zwiener filed four bills during the 86th Texas Legislature that would require more scrutiny of how these businesses affect water and air quality and infrastructure, but none made it out of committee.

Click HERE to view the letter from Rep. Zwiener to the House Committee on Environmental Regulation regarding Interim Charges 
Click HERE to view the letter from Rep. Zwiener to the House Committee on County Affairs regarding Interim Charges

What are Legislative Interim Charges?

The time period between Texas legislative sessions is referred to as “the interim.” During this period, senate and house committees are assigned certain topics to study, referred to as interim charges. The committees develop comprehensive reports with recommendations to be considered during the following legislative session. Legislators submit suggestions for interim studies to the legislative leadership. From those recommendations, the final charges are selected. The lieutenant governor assigns charges to the senate committees and the speaker of the house assigns interim charges to the house committees. 

This is an opportunity for advocates and other stakeholders to have input into policy direction. Committee members are typically eager to receive suggestions from stakeholders on important topics that need to be addressed. Hundreds of ideas are submitted to legislators for consideration and from these only a select few are forwarded to the lieutenant governor and speaker. The benefit of having an issue addressed during the interim is that it heightens visibility and improves chances for the issue to be on the policy agenda for the next session