What a Conference Committee does

Conference Committee

If a conference committee is requested, the presiding officers each appoint five members from their respective chambers to serve on the committee.  A conference committee’s charge is limited to reconciling differences between the two chambers, and the committee may not alter, amend, or omit text that is not in disagreement without the adoption of an “out of bounds” resolution by both chambers.  The committee also may not add text on any matter that is not in disagreement or that is not included in either version of the bill in question without such a resolution.  After the committee has reached an agreement, a report is prepared for submittal to the house and senate.  The report must be approved by at least three conferees from each chamber  and  must  contain  the  text  of  the  bill  as  approved  by  the  conference  committee,  a  side-by-side analysis    comparing the   text   of  the   compromise bill  to  both  the   house    and  the  Senate versions, an updated fiscal note, and the signatures of those members of the conference committee  who  approved  the  report.    A conference committee report is not subject to amendment by the house or senate and must be accepted or rejected in its entirety.

Should the proposed compromise remain unacceptable to either chamber, it may be returned to the same conference committee for further deliberation, with or without specific instructions, or the appointment of a new conference committee may be requested.  Failure of the conference committee to reach agreement kills the bill.    If the conference committee report is acceptable to both chambers, the bill is enrolled, signed by both presiding officers in the presence of their respective chambers, and sent to the governor.