What Do Legislative Committees Do? | Peach State Politics
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What Do Legislative Committees Do? | Peach State Politics

Welcome back to Peach State Politics. I’m Stephen Fowler, your GPB Education
Capitol correspondent. This week we’re getting into the nitty gritty
of committees. Try saying that five times fast. Nitty gritty committee. Nitty gritty committee. Anyway, committees are an important part of
the Georgia legislature where smaller groups of lawmakers get together and hear all of the
different merits of a bill and recommend whether or not it passes and should go before the
larger chambers. Each committee is made up of a bipartisan
group of lawmakers either in the House or the Senate, and they’re tasked with meeting
to hear specific bills. The pros, the cons, if there’s something to
do with money, how much it costs and who’s going to pay for it. And they hear from the sponsors of the bills,
the people in support of the bill or opposed to the bill, before they make their committee
recommendations. Now the committee recommendations are important
because that helps guide the larger legislative bodies on deciding on these bills. Think about it. There are several hundred lawmakers and several
hundred bills that are filed each year. Think about how much time it would take to
read all of the bills by every lawmaker and everything like that. So the committees basically make the process
shorter and sweeter and to the point. Now once a bill makes it out of committee,
it’s then read on the floor with the committee’s report. They can do things like recommend the bill
pass or offer substitute to tweak different languages. And the other part of committee work that’s
important is what happens after a bill passes one chamber and heads to the other. Those committees need to figure out say a
House version of the bill and a Senate version of the bill and reconcile those differences. Say the House wants to spend one dollar on
something and the Senate wants to spend five. Then a committee of House and Senate members
meet to figure out how much money they spend in the end. Do you have more questions about how committees
work or anything in the State Capitol works, make sure to drop me a line at GPB.org/psp. I’m Stephen Fowler, your GPB Education
Capitol correspondent.

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