What Is Committee of Conference?

Every bill in a legislative session must be passed in identical form by each of the two chambers, Senate and House, before it is sent to the Governor.

If a bill has been amended by the non-originating body, it is sent back to the originating body for concurrence. At this point, there are three options:

  • The originating body agrees (concurs), and the bill is sent to the Governor.
  • The originating body does not agree (non-concurs), and requests a Committee of Conference between the two bodies. In this case, the Senate President and the House Speaker normally appoint a conference committee of members of both houses to work out a compromise. The purpose of the Committee of Conference is to resolve disagreements on the particular bill.
  • The originating body does not concur, no Committee of Conference is requested, and the bill dies.

Some important facts to note about Committee of Conference:

  • The Committee of Conference is two independent committees meeting jointly. The House and Senate conferees are not one joint committee.
  • Committee of Conference meetings are public meetings duly noticed and posted as to time and location outside the meeting room, online at http://gencourt.state.nh.us, and outside the Clerk’s office.
  • All members must sign off on a Committee of Conference report if it is to be accepted.
  • Committee of Conference reports are voted on (Yea or Nay) by the entire membership. They may be debated on the floor as any other bill. Recorded votes may be requested.
  • Committees of Conference involve a lot of “give and take” and negotiation skills.
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