Committee Hearings

After a bill is introduced on the House or Senate floor, it is generally referred by the Speaker of the House to the committee of jurisdiction (i.e., the committee charged with reviewing measures in the area of law or policy with which the bill is concerned).  The committee of referral most often sends the measure to its specialized subcommittee(s) for further review.

For most bills, the committee or subcommittee takes no further action, effectively "killing" the measure at this point. Occasionally, a committee will report a measure "unfavorably," with explicit recommendations against its passage, or it will report a bill "without recommendation," which has the same effect as an unfavorable report.

If a bill is considered by a subcommittee or committee, it is most often either given a hearing in which testimony is received and witnesses are questioned by committee members or a mark up during which committee members are given a chance to revise the measure.  Committees may also conduct hearings on issues not related to specific pieces of legislation.

If the bill passes the subcommittee with a favorable vote, it is sent back to the full committee for further consideration, hearings, amendment, and vote. Below are resources that provide information on current hearings and committee information.