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Understanding Legislative Committees

Understanding legislative committees

Legislative committees play an important role in creating new laws and appropriating funds to enable existing programs. As you connect with your legislators, is it helpful to know which committees your legislators serve on and how the committees influence the issues you care about.

Each chamber has standing committees that focus on a particular subject area. When a bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee to thoroughly review, seek input from stakeholders and hold hearings for public comment. While a bill is in committee, it is often the most important time for the public to advocate for a specific bill. The committee discusses their findings before reporting their conclusions and recommendations to the entire chamber, where the bill is debated and a vote of the whole chamber is held. If the bill is passed, it goes to the other chamber, where the process is repeated.

Joint appropriation subcommittees are also organized by subject matter, but are comprised of members of both the House and Senate. Rather than creating new legislation, the appropriation subcommittees are tasked with allocating funds to existing departments and programs. They review department funding requests, state revenue estimates and the Governor’s suggested budget in order to make recommendations to one of the appropriations standing committees. When advocating specifically for funding, the best people to do so to are joint appropriation subcommittees members.

The Committee Chair and Vice Chair are appointed by majority leadership to head the committee. The Ranking Member is the most senior member of the committee from the minority party. Listed are the committees and committee leaders that are most relevent to INHF legislative priorities:


Agriculture Committee

Chair: Dan Zumbach (R)
Vice Chair: Annette Sweeney (R)
Ranking Member: Kevin Kinney (D)

Appropriations Committee

Chair: Michael Breitbach (R)
Vice Chair: Tim Kraayenbrink (R)
Ranking Member: Joe Bolkcom (D)

Natural Resources Committee

Chair: Ken Rozenboom (R)
Vice Chair: Tom Shipley (R)
Ranking Member: Rob Hogg (D)

Transportation Committee

Chair: Tim Kapucian (R)
Vice Chair: Waylon Brown (R)
Ranking Member: Jeff Danielson (D)

Ways & Means Committee

Chair: Randy Feenstra (R)
Vice Chair: Dan Dawson (R)
Ranking Member: Pam Jochum (D)


Agriculture Committee

Chair: Ross Paustian (R)
Vice Chair: David Sieck (R)
Ranking Member: Bruce Bearinger (D)

Appropriations Committee

Chair: Pat Grassley (R)
Vice Chair: Ray Sorensen (R)
Ranking Member: Chris Hall (D)

Economic Growth Committee

Chair: Skyler Wheeler (R)
Vice Chair: Holly Brink (R)
Ranking Member: Liz Bennett (D)

Environmental Protection Committee

Chair: Dean Fisher (R)
Vice Chair: Jeff Shipley (R)
Ranking Member: Vicki Lensing (D)

Natural Resources Committee

Chair: Rob Bacon (R)
Vice Chair: Tom Jeneary (R)
Ranking Member: Scott Ourth (D)

Transportation Committee

Chair: Ashley Hinson (R)
Vice Chair: Dave Maxwell (R)
Ranking Member: Bob Kressig (D)

Ways & Means Committee

Chair: Lee Hein (R)
Vice Chair: Jacob Bossman (R)
Ranking Member: Dave Jacoby (D)


Agriculture/Natural Resources

Chairs: Sen. Tom Shipley (R) & Rep. Norlin Mommsen (R)
Vice Chairs: Sen. Ken Rozenboom (R) & Rep. Anne Osmundson (R)
Ranking Members: Sen. Liz Mathis (D) & Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D)

Economic Development

Chairs: Sen. Mark Lofgren (R) & Rep. Brian Best (R)
Vice Chairs: Sen. Tom Greene (R) & Rep. Tom Gerhold (R)
Ranking Members: Sen. Bill Dotzler (D) & Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D)

Transportation/Infrastructure/Capital Appropriations

Chairs: Sen. Craig Johnson (R) & Rep. Gary Mohr (R)
Vice Chairs: Sen. Roby Smith (R) & Rep. Phil Thompson (R)
Ranking Members: Sen. Jim Lykam (D) & Rep. Dennis Cohoon (D)