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Role in the legislative process

  • Standing committees consider more than 1,000 bills and resolutions each regular session.
  • Standing committees decide which bills should advance to the full House or Senate.

Committee on Committees

  • In each chamber the Committee on Committees, made up of legislative leaders, assigns bills to one of several standing committees.
  • Assignments are determined by the subject of each bill. Committee jurisdictions are found in the House and Senate Rules adopted each session.
  • The Committee on Committees also selects the chair, vice chair, and members of each standing committee. Legislators usually serve on two or three standing committees.

Meetings of Standing Committees

  • The chair of each committee decides in what order bills will be considered.
  • Supporters and opponents of particular bills are invited to address a committee.
  • Committees may send bills to the full House or Senate with favorable or unfavorable reports or, in the Senate, without recommendation.
  • Committees also may propose amendments to bills or decline to return them to the full House or Senate.
Approximately half the bills introduced each session never get out of committee. Unless a bill has a favorable report, its chances of passing are slim.