Following the practice of the English House of Commons, the Lower House of Maryland's General Assembly began to use standing committees in the seventeenth century. Though membership would change, the functions of these standing committees continued from year to year. In 1692, the Lower House (predecessor of today's House of Delegates) formed four standing committees. These first committees concerned Accounts; Aggrievances; Elections and Privileges; and Laws. They were responsible for considering all proposed laws on a given subject. Any bills relating to their assigned subject matter received committee review before any final action on the floor.
To review proposed legislation today, the House of Delegates has six standing committees: Appropriations; Economic Matters; Environmental Matters; Health and Government Operations; Judiciary; and Ways and Means. Two additional standing committees, assigned other duties, are Rules and Executive Nominations, and Consent Calendars.
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