Standing Committees

The House and Senate each have standing policy committees which are responsible for specific issue areas.  

Committees hold public hearings on all the bills assigned to it.  Each bill also has an “executive session” at which the committee considers the matter and makes a recommendation to the full House.  Hearing and executive session schedules are printed in the House Calendar.  (Some executive sessions are not scheduled and announced in advance.)

Recommendations are in the form of committee reports, known as “blurbs”, which are also printed in the House Calendar.  

Subcommittees of Standing Committees

A sub-committee may be appointed to study a bill further and perhaps propose amendments before it is voted on by the full committee in executive session.

Retained Bill Subcommittee (1st year of the Session)

A bill may be retained to committee in the first year of the session [House Rule 44].  The purpose would be to study the bill further and to propose amendments if appropriate.

Interim Study Bill Committee (2nd year of the Session)

An interim study bill committee may be appointed to determine if further legislation should be proposed in the following year.

Chaptered Study Committee

This type of study committee is created by session law and does not appear in the
Revised Statutes Annotated.

      • The committee includes members of the house and senate.
      • If favorable, committee reports include recommendations for legislation.
      • The committee terminates upon filing the final report unless an extension has been requested.
      • Appointments to chaptered studies are made by the Speaker.
      • The first named member to a chaptered study, created by a house bill, is required to call the first meeting of the study committee.
      • At the organizational meeting, the first named member conducts an election for a chair.
      • The chair is responsible for organizing, scheduling and conducting the study committee meetings.
      • The chair must also appoint a clerk.
      • The committee also reviews the committee charge and may develop a timeline to achieve completion of study by the report due date. Most chaptered study reports are due by November l.
      • The following language is typically found at the end of the bill:

Report. The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 20_.

Statutory Committee

This permanent committee is created by statute and appears in the Revised Statutes

      • This committee may have an annual reporting date as well as required meeting dates.
      • The membership may include members of the house, senate, executive branch and other interested parties.
      • Appointments to statutory committees are made by tlre Speaker, Senate President, Governor or other parties including outside entities or organizations,
      • The committee may have only one house member appointed to the committee for a term or may be entirely composed of legislators.
      • The committee submits annual or biennial reports.
      • There were 188 non-regulatory statute committees as of 1/4/13.

Chair Responsibilities

    • The first-named member of a retained bill subcommittee or interim study subcommittee seryes as chair.
    • A member designated by the law that establishes the committee calls the first meeting of a chaptered study committee or a statutory commission and a chair is elected from among the membership.
    • Prior to Initial Meeting:
        • Review the bill file and discuss with the committee researcher any necessary background materials that would be useful for members to help them prepare for the first meeting.
        • Contact members to determine their availability to meet. 
        • Schedule meeting with committee assistant during session or Heather Ebbs (Room 3001271-3125) during summer and fall months to ensure that the meeting is appropriately noticed.
    • At the First Meeting
        • Appoint a clerk;
        • Minutes are required. Minutes can be typed at House Secretarial Services (Room 4051211-3600) and should include the members of the committee present and the issues discussed. The committee file should also contain any material distributed at the meeting and may include a list of attendees and their contact information, Attendees should be made aware that any information that they provide to the committee will be maintained in the public file. 
        • Discuss committee charge, issues to be addressed, information needed and how the information will be obtained.
        • Discuss the number of meetings likely to be needed; possible schedule of meetings.
    • Final Report
        • Submit a report for the standing committee or the Speaker, Senate President and Governor, depending on the type of committee. Committee staff are available to assist with report preparation and distribution.

Committee Staff

For retained and interim study bills, the scheduling and bill files are maintained by the committee assistant during session and by Heather Ebbs (3125/LOB 300) during summer and fall months. A copy of all material distributed at the meeting should be included in the committee file. At the end of the study period these files are prepared and delivered to the House Clerk’s office.

The chaptered study committees are staffed by House Committee Services, which consists of House Committee Research and Secretarial Services. Committee files are maintained by Secretarial Services (3600/LOB 405). Scheduling is prepared by Heather Ebbs (3125/LOB 300). Final reports are prepared and delivered in both hard copy and electronic versions to the House Clerk’s Office. Research and committee administration support is provided by House Committee Research (3600/LOB 407). Traditionally, committee researchers staff those studies that originated in their assigned policy committees. All scheduling is reported to the House Clerk’s Office for inclusion in the House Calendar.

Final Study Report Template

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