The committee is the heart of the legislative process. Committees can and should do the fact-finding groundwork.

The formation of committees breaks down the legislature into numerous small groups. Opportunity is thus afforded for closer study of a bill than would be possible in debate on the floor. In this preliminary screening, the committee will hear from the legislator who introduced the bill. It will hear, too, from other legislators who either favor or oppose the bill.

The committee may go outside the Legislature to learn the opinion of interested persons who may be well informed on the subject of the bill.

The committee can subpoena for witnesses and for records. It can also use the research facilities of the Legislature to analyze the situation here and in other states. Citizens who wish to be heard are also allowed to speak at committee meetings.

Standing committees are established by the Senate & House for the management of its business.

The appointment of committee members, and the designation of the committee chairs and vice-chairs, is made by the Senate President and House Speaker.

The Senate President and House Speaker refers proposed legislation/bills to one or more committees for review. It also should be kept in mind that nearly every bill must travel the same long road in each house. A bill passed by the Senate may be referred to one or more committees when it reaches the House of Representatives. And the same is true in the Senate of a House-passed measure.