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In 1969, the Legislature created the Interim Finance Committee to function within the Legislative Counsel Bureau between sessions and administer a contingency fund. This fund was set up to provide provisional funds for state agencies when the Legislature is not in session. To obtain funds, agencies must submit their requests to the State Board of Examiners for review and recommendation. If the board finds sufficient justification for the requests submitted to it, it must make a recommendation to the Interim Finance Committee by transmitting it to the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, who is required to notify the Chairman of the Interim Finance Committee. Upon receiving the recommendation, the Chairman of the committee must call a meeting to act upon the agency requests. The Interim Finance Committee is not bound to follow the recommendation of the State Board of Examiners. The committee, by resolution, may allocate an amount for the purposes requested. In authorizing an allocation, the committee directs the State Controller to transfer the approved amount from the Contingency Fund Account to the appropriate agency account.
The Interim Finance Committee also reviews state agency requests to accept certain gifts and grants, to modify legislatively-approved budgets, and to reclassify state merit system positions in certain circumstances. Legislation approved by the 1979 Legislature requires that state agencies receive prior approval of the Interim Finance Committee before they:
In 1983, the Legislature passed legislation requiring the State Public Works Board to consult with the Interim Finance Committee before approving final plans for capital improvement projects, including new construction, major repair, and landscaping.
The Interim Finance Committee is composed of the members of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means from the preceding session. Chairmanship of the Interim Finance Committee alternates between immediate past chairmen of the two legislative committees. Membership on the committee terminates at the beginning of the next legislative session for any legislator who retires or is defeated for reelection.
In voting on matters before the Interim Finance Committee, a vote is taken of the Senate and Assembly members separately. No action can be taken unless a majority of both groups votes in the affirmative.
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