The NCSL Standing Committees are composed of legislators and legislative staff. Legislators are appointed by the leadership of the legislatures and staff by agency directors. The committees are the main organizational mechanism for serving NCSL members. There are eight committees that deal with both state and state-federal issues:
Budgets and Revenue, Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Labor and Economic Development, Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety and Natural Resources and Infrastructure.
The Standing Committees allow legislators and staff to benefit from the experiences of other states in shaping public policy, experimenting with new laws, and managing the legislative institutions. Committee members explore issues that states have to deal with, but committees do not recommend policy to the legislatures on issues that are internal to the states.
Committees do develop policy on state-federal issues to guide NCSL's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. NCSL's Washington staff lobby the Congress, the White House and federal agencies for the benefit of state legislatures in accord with the policy directives and resolutions recommended by the Standing Committees and adopted at the NCSL Annual Business Meeting.
The committees' jurisdictions are divided by subject, like the committee jurisdictions in every legislature.