Standing committee

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Contents
1 Standing committee
1.1 How committees work
1.2 How legislators are assigned
1.3 Relative importance
2 Common House standing committees
3 Common Senate standing committees

A standing committee of a state legislature is a committee that exists on a more-or-less permanent basis, from legislative session to session, that considers and refines legislative bills that fall under the committee's subject matter.

How committees work

The Cycle of a Bill in a Standing Committee

The cycle of a bill through a standing committee is a simple cycle, but does take time. The following steps illustrate the cycle in which a bill goes through.

  • First, a bill is introduced by a member of a state legislature.
  • Typically the next thing that a member of the senate or house leadership does with the bill is to refer it to a committee.
  • The members of that committee are then responsible to focus on the details of the bill.
  • From there, public hearings are held.
  • Decisions about the bill's merits are then conferred and decided upon.
An example of a standing committee. Committee Chairman John Kline restates the need to fix a shattered education system as he calls the meeting to order.[1]

How legislators are assigned

The rules that govern how state legislators are assigned to standing committees vary from state-to-state. In general, committee assignments are very much under the control of the Senate Majority Leader (for state senate committees) or the House Majority Leader in the case of state house standing committees.

The fact that appointments to standing committees is significantly under the control of the state legislature's majority caucus is one reason why having majority partisan control of a particular legislative body matters in terms of the legislation that will be considered and approved.

Relative importance

Some standing committees are more important than others in terms of the impact and leverage of the bills that they consider. In most states, the most powerful standing committees are those that deal with finance, appropriations and taxation. However, there are a number of other committees that are common across all 50 states. They include:

  • Appropriations/Finance/Ways and Means/Budget- These committees cover budget, appropriations, taxation and general expense related information. Often states will have more than one committee addressing bills in this category.
  • Judiciary-The Judiciary committee will often address bills related to court structure as well as issues surrounding judicial selection. Most states only have one judiciary committee.
  • Health and Human Services-These committees address bills relating to health care, regulation and social services provided within the state. Occasionally the committees will be split into two, but often they will be combined into one committee.
  • Education-These committees address bills related to education and schools. Often they are split into a higher education and primary/secondary education committee. A few states also have separate committees for education policy and education funding.
  • Transportation-These committees address bills related to transportation and travel. This can include roads and highways as well as public transportation and mass transit. This is often a single committee.
  • Agriculture-Less common than the above committees, Agriculture committees address bills related to the farming industry and are often tied to natural resources.
  • Rules committee-These committees establish the rules for the House or Senate for each session of the legislature. It affects the process by which bills are introduced, heard and even voted on. Often the Rules committee is responsible for setting the legislatures calendar, though not always.

References

Common House of Representative Committees#
Click on a Approveda to go to the committees page
State # of Committees Agriculture Transportation Education Rules Judiciary Health and Human Services Appropriations/Ways and Means/Budget
Alabama 31
Agriculture and Forestry Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Education Policy Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Health Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Ways and Means General Fund Committee, Alabama House of Representatives
Alaska 10 Defeatedd
Transportation Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Education Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Health & Social Services Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Finance Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Arizona 17
Agriculture and Water Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Education Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Arizona House of Representatives
Arkansas 10
Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
Public Transportation Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
Education Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
Revenue and Taxation Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
California 30
Agriculture Committee, California General Assembly
Transportation Committee, California General Assembly
Education Committee, California General Assembly
Rules Committee, California General Assembly
Judiciary Committee, California General Assembly
Health Committee, California General Assembly
Appropriations Committee, California General Assembly
Revenue and Taxation Committee, California General Assembly
Colorado 10
Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Education Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Health and Environment Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Finance Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Connecticut* 25 Defeatedd
Transportation Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Education Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Human Services Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Public Health Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Appropriations Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
Delaware 25
Agriculture Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Transportation/Land Use and Infrastructure Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Education Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Health & Human Development Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Revenue & Finance Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Florida 9 Defeatedd Defeatedd
Education Committee, Florida House of Representatives
Rules & Calendar Committee, Florida House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Florida House of Representatives
Health & Human Services Committee, Florida House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Florida House of Representatives
Finance & Tax Committee, Florida House
Georgia 36
Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Education Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Higher Education Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Judiciary - Non-Civil Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
Hawaii 20
Agriculture Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Education Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Higher Education Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Health Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Finance Committee, Hawaii House of Representatives
Idaho 14
Agricultural Affairs Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Transportation and Defense Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Education Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Health and Welfare Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Revenue and Taxation Committee, Idaho House of Representatives
Illinois 47
Agriculture & Conservation Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Mass Transit Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Higher Education Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Judiciary I - Civil Law Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Judiciary II - Criminal Law Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Health & Healthcare Disparities Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Health Care Availability Access Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Health Care Licenses Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Revenue & Finance Committee, Illinois House of Representatives
Indiana 21
Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Roads and Transportation Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Education Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Courts and Criminal Code Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Public Health Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Iowa 19
Agriculture Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Education Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Administration and Rules Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Human Resources Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Iowa House of Representatives
Kansas 30
Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Committee, Kansas House
Transportation Committee, Kansas House
Transportation and Public Safety Budget Committee, Kansas House
Education Budget Committee, Kansas House
Education Committee, Kansas House
Higher Education Committee, Kansas House
Rules and Journal Committee, Kansas House
Judiciary Committee, Kansas House
Health and Human Services Committee, Kansas House
Appropriations Committee, Kansas House
Taxation Committee, Kansas House
Kentucky 19
Agriculture and Small Business Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Education Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Health and Welfare Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Appropriations and Revenue Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Louisiana 16
Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Education Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Health and Welfare Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Maine 6 Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd
Rules and Business of the House Committee, Maine House of Representatives
Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd
Maryland 8 Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd
Rules & Executive Nominations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates
Judiciary Committee, Maryland House of Delegates
Health & Government Operations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates
Appropriations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates
Ways & Means Committee, Maryland House of Delegates
Massachusetts 9 Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd
Rules Committee, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Defeatedd Defeatedd
Ways and Means Committee, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Michigan 19
Agriculture Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Education Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Health Policy Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Tax Policy Committee, Michigan House of Representatives
Minnesota 21
Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Transportation Policy and Finance Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Education Finance Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Education Reform Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Rules and Legislative Administration Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Finance Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Reform Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Taxes Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Mississippi 46
Agriculture Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Education Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Universities and Colleges Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Judiciary A Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Judiciary B Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Judiciary En Banc Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Juvenile Justice Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Public Health and Human Services Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives
Missouri 47
Agri-Business Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Agriculture Policy Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Transportation Funding and Public Institutions Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Higher Education Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Health Care Policy Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Health Care Transformation Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Tax Reform Committee, Missouri House of Representatives
Montana 16
Agriculture Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Education Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Taxation Committee, Montana House of Representatives
Nevada 10 Defeatedd
Transportation Committee, Nevada State Assembly
Education Committee, Nevada State Assembly
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, Nevada State Assembly
Health and Human Services Committee, Nevada State Assembly
Ways and Means Committee, Nevada State Assembly
Taxation Committee, Nevada State Assembly
New Hampshire 26
Environment and Agriculture Committee, New Hampshire House
Transportation Committee, New Hampshire House
Education Committee, New Hampshire House
Special Committee On Education Funding Reform, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Rules Committee, New Hampshire House
Judiciary Committee, New Hampshire House
Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, New Hampshire House
Ways and Means Committee, New Hampshire House
Finance - Division I Committee, New Hampshire House
Finance - Division II Committee, New Hampshire House
Finance - Division III Committee, New Hampshire House
Finance Committee, New Hampshire House
New Jersey 23
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Education Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Higher Education Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Health and Senior Services Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Human Services Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Appropriations Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
Budget Committee, New Jersey General Assembly
New Mexico 16
Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Transportation and Public Works Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Education Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Rules and Order of Business Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Health and Government Affairs Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Appropriations and Finance Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
Taxation and Revenue Committee, New Mexico House of Representatives
New York 37
Agriculture Committee, New York Assembly
Transportation Committee, New York Assembly
Education Committee, New York Assembly
Higher Education Committee, New York Assembly
Rules Committee, New York Assembly
Judiciary Committee, New York Assembly
Health Committee, New York Assembly
Ways and Means Committee, New York Assembly
North Carolina 19
Agriculture Committee, North Carolina House
Transportation Committee, North Carolina House
Education Committee, North Carolina House
Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House Committee, North Carolina House
Judiciary I Committee, North Carolina House
Judiciary II Committee, North Carolina House
Judiciary III Committee, North Carolina House
Juvenile Justice Committee, North Carolina House
Health Committee, North Carolina House
Appropriations Committee, North Carolina House
Finance Committee, North Carolina House
Ways and Means/Broadband Connectivity Committee, North Carolina House
North Dakota 15
Agriculture Committee, North Dakota House
Transportation Committee, North Dakota House
Education Committee, North Dakota House
Defeatedd
Judiciary Committee, North Dakota House
Human Services Committee, North Dakota House
Appropriations Committee, North Dakota House
Finance and Taxation Committee, North Dakota House
Ohio 17
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Education Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Rules and Reference Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Judiciary and Ethics Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Health and Aging Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Finance and Appropriations Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Ohio House of Representatives
Oklahoma 19
Agriculture, Wildlife, and Environment Committee, Oklahoma State House
Transportation Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Common Education Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Higher Education & Career Tech Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Public Health Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Appropriations & Budget Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Oregon 14
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Transportation and Economic Development Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Education Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Health Care Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Revenue Committee, Oregon House of Representatives
Pennsylvania 27
Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Education Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Health Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Finance Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rhode Island 11 Defeatedd Defeatedd
Health, Education and Welfare Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
Health, Education and Welfare Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
Finance Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
South Carolina 11
Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Education and Public Works Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
Rules Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
Defeatedd
Ways and Means Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
South Dakota 13
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Education Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Legislative Procedure Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Taxation Committee, South Dakota House of Representatives
Tennessee 14
Agriculture Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Education Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Calendar and Rules Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Tennessee House
Judiciary Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Health & Human Resources Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, Tennessee House of Representatives
Texas 36
Agriculture and Livestock Committee, Texas House
Transportation Committee, Texas House
Higher Education Committee, Texas House
Public Education Committee, Texas House
Rules & Resolutions Committee, Texas House
Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee, Texas House
Human Services Committee, Texas House
Public Health Committee, Texas House
Appropriations Committee, Texas House
Ways & Means Committee, Texas House
Utah 15
Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Education Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Revenue and Taxation Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Vermont 15
Agriculture Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Education Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Health Care Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Human Services Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Ways and Means Committee, Vermont House of Representatives
Virginia 14
Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, Virginia House
Transportation Committee, Virginia House
Education Committee, Virginia House
Rules Committee, Virginia House
Courts of Justice Committee, Virginia House
Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, Virginia House
Appropriations Committee, Virginia House
Finance Committee, Virginia House
Washington 21
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Transportation Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Early Learning and Human Services Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Education Appropriations and Oversight Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Education Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Higher Education Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Rules Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Health Care and Wellness Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Health and Human Services Appropriations and Oversight Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Early Learning and Human Services Committee, Washington House of Representatives
General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee, Washington House of Representatives
Ways & Means Committee, Washington House of Representatives
West Virginia 18
Agriculture Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Roads and Transportation Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Education Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Rules Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Judiciary Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Health and Human Resources Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Finance Committee, West Virginia House of Delegates
Wisconsin 31
Agriculture Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Transportation Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Colleges and Universities Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Education Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Rules Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Judiciary and Ethics Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Health Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Finance Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Ways and Means Committee, Wisconsin State Assembly
Wyoming 12
Agriculture, Public Lands and Water Resources Committee, Wyoming House
Transportation and Highways Committee, Wyoming House
Education Committee, Wyoming House
Rules and Procedure Committee, Wyoming House
Judiciary Committee, Wyoming House
Labor, Health and Social Services Committee, Wyoming House
Appropriations Committee, Wyoming House
Revenue Committee, Wyoming House
Totals(Out of 49 states) 995 41 43 46 39 47 46 48
#Multiple checks indicates multiple applicable committees.
*Connecticut's legislature employs only join committees and consequentially the same committees will be listed on the House and Senate charts.