February 7, 2022 to February 11, 2022
First of Several Committee Workdays
In recent years, the General Assembly has started earmarking specific days in the legislative schedule as committee workdays. This reflects the critical role committees play in the process: they are the workhorses of the legislature, allowing for division of labor and subject matter expertise. This system enables the scrutiny of a large number of bills and resolutions during the short forty-day session.
The Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor assign newly introduced measures to standing committees in the House and Senate, respectively. It is then up to the Chair of the committee to determine if a bill will be considered. The vast majority of bills are introduced, only to languish and ultimately expire in committee, without so much as a hearing.
Committees are able to amend the measure, even over the objection of the author. Once the committee has “perfected” the bill, they take their own vote. A majority of affirmative votes advances the bill to the Rules Committee for further consideration.
Wednesday was one of these committee workdays and several more are built into the current schedule. As more measures come out of committee and are eligible for deliberation by the full chamber, the debate calendars in the House and Senate will continue to grow.