State legislators will soon start digging into a number of heavily-debated topics during upcoming interim study committees. Discussions will include a potential alternative to ISTEP testing, economic development incentives and possible expansion of smoking bans to include electronic cigarettes. Publisher Abdul-Hakim Shabazz says one issue that is not on the agenda is re-examining state laws regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Major proposals that advanced further than ever before during the session included lifting the ban on Sunday alcohol sales and expanding availability of cold beer sales. Even though the laws remain unchanged, Shabazz says the debate is “not going to go away.”

The Legislative Council determines the agenda for the committee. It is made up of eight members from both the House and Senate. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-16) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) are chair and vice-chair, respectively.

Long says interim study committees “provide a valuable forum for these discussions to take place so that legislators can take more informed action in the next legislative session.”

You can connect to the full list of topics released by the House Republican leadership by clicking here.

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