Legislature. Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

Entity: 591
Entity Type: State Government


The Utah Legislative Council was created by the legislature in 1947 to serve as a continuing research body. It was to assemble information, make studies as assigned by the legislature, and make recommendations on the subjects assigned. By joint rule of the legislature in 1957, the council was made a standing committee of the legislature. In 1975 a director of legislative research was created and in 1983 the office of legislative research and general counsel was created as a permanent staff office for the legislature. The research duties continued; in addition, the office drafts legislation and reviews final bills for accuracy.

Biography/History Notes

General Responsibilities of the Office are to:?Provide legal and policy review of current law and proposed legislation; promote understanding of critical legislative issues; serve as liaison with other government agencies and the public; recommend changes in the law when appropriate; and coordinate in the development and management of the Utah State Legislature web site. Research Responsibilities are to:?Staff legislative standing and interim committees, providing research on assigned studies; respond to requests for information and research; examine acts and official reports from other states; analyze data relating to previously enacted statutes; provide statutory retrieval; and compile analytical and legal data pertaining to legislative and governmental issues. Legal Responsibilities are to: Draft and review legislation; review final bills for accuracy; resolve bill conflicts; represent the Legislature in litigation; provide legal research; prepare legal opinions; prepare the chapterization of the bills passed and forward this information and copies of all legislation to publishers of the session laws and the Utah Code; and update the statutory data base of the Utah Code, assuring a current data base for statutory searches and bill drafting.??

The Legislative Council initially consisted of 13 members--5 state senators, 5 state representatives , and 3 others. The senators and one non-legislative member was appointed by the President of the Senate; the representatives and one non-legislative member was appointed by the Speaker; and the Governor appointed the final member. In the current Legislative Research and General Counsel Office, the Legislative Management Committee employs, after recommendation of the appropriate subcommittee of the Legislative Management Committee, without regard to political affiliation, and subject to approval of a majority vote of both houses, persons qualified for the positions of director of the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel. Appointment is for a term of six years.