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California State Assembly Chamber. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Frequently Asked Questions about Types of Legislative Committees

What are the standing committees used for?

By Chris Micheli, June 11, 2024 2:30 am

Why types of committees exist in the California Legislature? There are the following types of committees that operate to conduct the business of the two houses of the Legislature: Standing Committees (with a number of subcommittees), Select Committees, Special Committees (in the Assembly), and Joint Committees.

What are the standing committees used for? Standing Committee hearings are the forums for public input on pending legislation. Measures are heard in Standing Committees which meet on a regular basis throughout the legislative year.

What types of standing committees exist? All of the Standing Committees are policy committees, except the two fiscal committees, which are the Appropriations and Budget Committees.

What are select committees used for? Both the Assembly and the Senate have Select Committees, which are technically subcommittees of each house’s General Research Committee.

What are special committees used for? The Assembly also has Special Committees. Currently there is the Assembly Legislative Ethics Committee.

What are the joint committees used for? Joint Committees have membership from both houses and consider issues of joint concern.

How are joint committee established? Pursuant to Joint Rules 36.5 and 36.7, there are a number of Joint Committees of the Legislature. Many of them were established pursuant to statutes or resolutions adopted by the two houses.

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