The primary function of a standing committee is to consider thoroughly each bill or resolution assigned to the committee and to make a specific recommendation on what action should be taken regarding the bill or resolution. A standing committee is required to take final action on every legislative proposal assigned to the committee.
There are thirteen standing committees in each house, divided by subject matter. In the Senate, most committees consist of seven or nine senators. The President Pro Tempore, with advice from the Majority Leader and Minority Leader, selects the members of each Senate committee and the chair and vice-chair. In the House, most committees consist of thirteen or fifteen representatives. The Speaker of the House, with advice from the Majority Leader and Minority Leader, selects the members of the House committees and the chair and vice-chair. Most legislators are members of two committees. Some serve on more than two committees, but that is rare due to the fact that two or three committees are usually meeting at the same time.
Following the introduction and first reading of a bill in either house, the presiding officer assigns the bill to a committee based on the subject matter. Generally, bills dealing with certain subjects are assigned to the same committee.