About Legislative Committees
Much of the work of the Legislature is carried out in committees, where issues are studied, policy is formed, and legislation is crafted. There are different kinds of committees.
House and Senate Standing Committees
Standing committees generally meet Tuesday through Friday when the Legislature is in session. There are 14 House standing committees and 11 Senate standing committees. The House standing committees meet all day, and each Representative serves on one committee. The Senate committees meet for half a day, and each Senator serves on both a morning and an afternoon committee.
Senators and Representatives comprise joint committees, which are often, but not always, co-chaired by one member from each Chamber.
Committees of Conference
Committees of Conference, composed of three Representatives and three Senators, are convened toward the end of the session. The goal is for the members to discuss their differences and to agree on a bill that will be presented to both Chambers for a vote.
Study Committees and Commissions
Study committees are created to examine an issue when the Legislature is not in session. Study committees often issue a report and, in many cases, cease to exist after the report is issued. Like study committees, commissions are enabled through legislation to study an issue. However, unlike committees, commissions often meet year-round and may have members who are not legislators.