Having fewer members than the House of Delegates, the Senate in the eighteenth century often met as a whole body, rather than in committee, to review proposed laws. Nonetheless, although Senate committees functioned earlier, by the nineteenth century, standing (or continuing) committees were formed, beginning in December 1823. At that time, the Senate President appointed standing committees on Ways and Means; Internal Improvements; and Pensions and Revolutionary [War] Claims. While names of standing committees have changed over the years, their purpose remains the same - to review proposed legislation.

Presently, the Senate has four standing committees to review bills: Budget and Taxation; Education, Health and Environmental Affairs; Finance; and Judicial Proceedings. Two additional standing committees are Executive Nominations, and Rules.

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