New System Coming in the House?

The House is considering changing its system of committee.  It would be yet another major overhaul from two years ago when John Diehl instituted the “select committee” system.

Rep. Kevin Austin has led a working group of about fifteen state representatives on the issue, and it’s not yet clear how much or how little of the new proposal Speaker Todd Richardson will seek to implement.

But if it goes forward, here’s the general outline.  There would be two dozen or so major committees.  These would be akin to the select committee.  They would cover the big legislative topics: education, utilities, judiciary etc.  Under each of these would be many much smaller committees that would be narrowly focused on specific issues under the major topics.

There’d be an earlier cut-off for bills to be filed and the smaller bills from the smaller committees would be rolled up into larger bills at the select level.

Two committees – Rules and new Titling and Engrossing Committee – would help manage the flow of bills and the composition of bills.  Both could become more powerful in this system.  Possible names mentioned to chair those types of committees: Reps. Kevin Engler, Caleb Jones and Shawn Rhoads. But honestly it’s so early, who knows.

Finally, one addition idea being floated is to estimate early in session how much room there is for new spending in the fiscal year, and have Fiscal Review account for the balance as bills work their way through making sure there’s no more spending than the budget estimate can accommodate.

More on this later.


Originally in October 21 MOScout.