The change in party control of the legislature will also bring a change in its committee structure. On November 16, the House and Senate Republican majority leadership unveiled their plan to “streamline” the House and Senate committees, including reducing the number of Senate committees from 25 to 16, and the number of House committees from 36 to 24. In total, the legislature will reduce its committees by approximately 35 percent.
Although the major committees of Taxes, Capital Investment and Ways and Means will remain undisturbed, the majority downsized the number of policy and finance committees significantly, choosing instead to merge committees rather than eliminate them outright. Additionally, the elimination of the House Finance Committee and all finance divisions means all finance bills will be referred directly to the proper finance committee, rather than making a stop in a finance division. Finally, several policy committees are now labeled “reform” committees, including education, health and regulatory reform committees. Leadership estimates the new structure may save the state upwards of $750,000, but will also result in “double-digit” staff job losses.