Arizona State Legislature

Last updated

Arizona State Legislature
54th Arizona Legislature
Arizona-StateSeal.svg
Type
Type
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
History
FoundedFebruary 14, 1912 (1912-02-14)
Preceded by Arizona Territorial Legislature
New session started
January 13, 2020
Leadership
Karen Fann (R)
since January 14, 2019
Eddie Farnsworth (R)
since January 14, 2019
Russell “Rusty” Bowers (R)
since January 14, 2019
Thomas “T.J.” Shope (R)
since January 14, 2019
Structure
Seats
  • 90
  • 30 Senators
  • 60 Representatives
54th Arizona Senate.svg
Senate political groups
  •    Republican  (16)
  •    Democratic  (14)
Arizona House of Representatives (31 Republicans, 29 Democrats).svg
House political groups
Elections
Senate last election
November 3, 2020
House last election
November 3, 2020
Senate next election
November 8, 2022
House next election
November 8, 2022
Redistricting Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Meeting place
AZ State Capitol Building 80635.JPG
Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Website
www.azleg.gov

Coordinates: 33°26′53″N112°5′47″W / 33.44806°N 112.09639°W / 33.44806; -112.09639

Contents

The Arizona State Capitol grounds in Phoenix Azcap.jpg
The Arizona State Capitol grounds in Phoenix

The Arizona State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of a lower house, the House of Representatives, and an upper house, the Senate. Composed of 90 legislators, the state legislature meets in the Capitol Complex in the state capital of Phoenix, Arizona. Created by the Arizona Constitution upon statehood in 1912, the Arizona State Legislature met biennially until 1950. Today, they meet annually.

Arizona's electoral districts are different from the majority of U.S. states. The state is divided into 30 legislative districts, each of which elects one senator and two representatives. Legislators are term limited to eight consecutive years in office, but can run again after two years or run for the other house than the one in which they serve.

History

Pre-statehood

Congress formed the New Mexico Territory in 1850 consisting of the land that is now Arizona north of the Gila River, along with what is now New Mexico, parts of Colorado and Nevada. [1] In 1853, the territory expanded under the Gadsden Purchase agreement by nearly 30,000 square miles of land south of the Gila River in Arizona, forming the state’s current boundary with Mexico. [1] In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Arizona Organic Act creating the Territory of Arizona. In 1864, the First Territorial Legislature convened in Prescott, the territory’s first capital. [1] The capital moved from Prescott to Tucson and back to Prescott before being permanently established in Phoenix in 1889. [1]

Early years of statehood

On June 20, 1910, President William Howard Taft signed the Enabling Act, allowing the Arizona Territory to hold a constitutional convention. Elected Arizona delegates convened in Phoenix at the territorial capitol on October 10, 1910, to draft the Arizona Constitution. [1] Although constitutional provisions for prohibition and women’s suffrage were rejected, voters added both within three years of statehood. [1] The new constitution was ratified by voters on February 9, 1911, and Arizona statehood took place on February 14, 1912, after eliminating a provision to recall judges that caused an initial veto by President Taft. A few months later, illustrating Arizona's independent streak, voters reinstated the provision permitting the recall of judges. [1]

Arizona's First Legislature had 19 state senators and 35 state representatives and convened March 18, 1912. [1] The Legislature met on a biennial basis until 1950, when a constitutional amendment provided for annual sessions. [1]

Legislative process

The Arizona Legislature is responsible for making laws in the state of Arizona. The first step in the legislative process is bill drafting. First, legislators must submit a bill request to the legislative council staff. [2] Additionally, a legislator-elect may submit a bill request or private citizens can obtain authorization from a legislator to use the legislator's name before giving instructions to the legislative council staff. [2] The legislative council staff delivers a bill draft to the sponsor or requester and if directed, will prepare the bill for introduction. [2]

Bills undergo three or four readings during the legislative process. After the first reading, they are assigned to committee. Committees can amend measures or hold legislation and prevent it from advancing. Once committee action is completed, the bill undergoes a second hearing and a third hearing, which happens just before the floor vote on it. [1] The bill is then sent to the opposite legislative house for consideration. If approved, without amendment, it is sent to the governor. If there is amendment, however, the Senate may either reconsider the bill with amendments or ask for the establishment of a conference committee to work out differences in the versions of the bill passed by each chamber. Once a piece of legislation approved by both houses is forwarded to the governor, it may either be signed or vetoed. If it is signed, it takes effect on the effective date of the legislation. If it is vetoed, lawmakers may override the veto with a vote by a three-fifths majority in both chambers. [1]

Alternatively, instead of presenting the measure to the Governor, the Legislature may order that it be submitted to the people. [3] If the measure is approved by the people, the Governor has no power to veto it, [4] and the Legislature may not repeal it, [5] and may not amend it unless the amending legislation furthers the purposes of such measure and at least three-fourths of the members of each house of the Legislature, by a roll call of ayes and nays, vote to amend such measure. [6]

Membership

Districting

There are 30 legislative districts in Arizona, each of which is a multi-member constituency. Each district elects a state senator and two state representatives for a two-year term. The combining of upper and lower house districts into a single constituency is known as nesting and is found in only seven U.S. state legislatures: Arizona, Idaho, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington.

Term limits

Under article 4, part 2, section 21 of the Constitution of Arizona, members of the Arizona Legislature serve two-year terms, and legislators are subject to term limits. [7] Members may only serve four consecutive terms (or eight years) in each house; however, once serving the limit, former members are re-eligible for election after a 2-year respite. [7] Members who are term-limited in one house frequently seek election to other positions within the state.

Party composition and elections

Party division of the legislature since the 1996 Elections: [8]

YearSenateHouse
1997-199818 R, 12 D38 R, 22 D
1999-200016 R, 14 D40 R, 20 D
2001-200215 R, 15 D36 R, 24 D
2003-200417 R, 13 D39 R, 21 D
2005-200619 R, 11 D38 R, 22 D
2007-200816 R, 14 D33 R, 27 D
2009-201018 R, 12 D35 R, 25 D
2011-201221 R, 9 D40 R, 20 D
2013-201417 R, 13 D38 R, 22 D
2015-Nov. 201517 R, 13 D36 R, 24 D
Dec. 2015-201618 R, 12 D [9] 36 R, 24 D
2017-201817 R, 13 D35 R, 25 D
2019-202017 R, 13 D31 R, 29 D
2021-202216 R, 14 D31 R, 29 D

Related Research Articles

A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 27 states the legislature is simply called the Legislature or the State Legislature, while in 19 states the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.

California State Legislature Bicameral legislature of the U.S. state of California

The California State Legislature is a bicameral state legislature consisting of a lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members; and an upper house, the California State Senate, with 40 members. Both houses of the Legislature convene at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The California state legislature is one of just ten full-time state legislatures in the United States.

Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The chief purposes of the Legislature are to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. The Legislature meets in the Capitol building in Lansing.

Alaska Legislature

The Alaska Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is a bicameral institution consisting of the 40-member Alaska House of Representatives and the 20-member Alaska Senate. There are 40 House Districts (1–40) and 20 Senate Districts (A–T). With a total of 60 lawmakers, the Alaska Legislature is the smallest bicameral state legislature in the United States and the second-smallest of all state legislatures. There are no term limits for either chamber.

Maryland General Assembly Legislative body of the State of Maryland, United States

The Maryland General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland that convenes within the State House in Annapolis. It is a bicameral body: the upper chamber, the Maryland Senate, has 47 representatives and the lower chamber, the Maryland House of Delegates, has 141 representatives. Members of both houses serve four-year terms. Each house elects its own officers, judges the qualifications and election of its own members, establishes rules for the conduct of its business, and may punish or expel its own members.

Hawaii State Legislature

The Hawaii State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state legislature is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Hawaii State House of Representatives, with 51 representatives, and an upper house, the 25-member Hawaii State Senate. There are a total of 76 lawmakers in the legislature, each representing single member districts across the islands. The powers of the legislature are granted under Article III of the Constitution of Hawaii. The legislature convenes at the Hawaii State Capitol building in the state capital of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.

Florida Legislature State legislature of the U.S. state of Florida

The Florida Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The legislature is composed of 160 state legislators. The primary purpose of the legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. It meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.

Florida House of Representatives Lower house of the Florida Legislature

The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida Senate being the upper house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The House is composed of 120 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 157,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Representatives' terms begin immediately upon their election. As of 2020, Republicans hold the majority in the State House with 78 seats; Democrats are in the minority with 42 seats.

Michigan Senate Upper state chamber of Michigan

The Michigan Senate is the upper house of the Michigan Legislature. Along with the Michigan House of Representatives, it composes the state legislature, which has powers, roles and duties defined by Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963. The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws.

Alaska Senate

The Alaska Senate is the upper house in the Alaska Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It convenes in the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska and is responsible for making laws and confirming or rejecting gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions and boards.

Mississippi Legislature legislature of the state of Mississippi in the United States

The Mississippi Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Mississippi. The bicameral Legislature is composed of the lower Mississippi House of Representatives, with 122 members, and the upper Mississippi State Senate, with 52 members. Both representatives and senators serve four-year terms without term limits. The Legislature convenes at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson.

Florida Senate Upper house of the Florida Legislature

The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida House of Representatives being the lower house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Senate is composed of 40 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 470,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. The Senate Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.

Government of Alabama

The government of Alabama is organized under the provisions of the 1901 Constitution of Alabama, the lengthiest constitution of any political entity in the world. Like other states within the United States, Alabama's government is divided into executive, judicial, and legislative branches.

Alabama Legislature Legislative branch of the state government of Alabama

The Alabama Legislature is the legislative branch of the state government of Alabama. It is a bicameral body composed of the House of Representatives and Senate. It is one of the few state legislatures in which members of both chambers serve four-year terms and in which all are elected in the same cycle. The most recent election was on November 6, 2018. The new legislature assumes office immediately following the certification of the election results by the Alabama Secretary of State which occurs within a few days following the election.

Kansas Legislature

The Kansas Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. It is a bicameral assembly, composed of the lower Kansas House of Representatives, with 125 state representatives, and the upper Kansas Senate, with 40 state senators. Representatives are elected for two-year terms, senators for four-year terms.

Oklahoma Legislature

The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the state legislative branch of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate are the two houses that make up the bicameral state legislature. There are 101 state representatives, each serving a two-year term, and 48 state senators, who serve four-year terms that are staggered so only half of the Oklahoma Senate districts are eligible in each election cycle. Legislators are elected directly by the people from single member districts of equal population. The Oklahoma Legislature meets annually in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.

Utah State Legislature

The Utah State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Utah. It is a bicameral body, comprising the Utah House of Representatives, with 75 state representatives, and the Utah Senate, with 29 state senators. There are no term limits for either chamber.

The Constitution of the State of Wisconsin is the governing document of the U.S. State of Wisconsin. It establishes the structure and function of state government, describes the state boundaries, and declares the rights of state citizens. The Wisconsin Constitution was written at a constitutional convention held in Madison, Wisconsin in December 1847 and approved by the citizens of Wisconsin Territory in a referendum held in March 1848. Wisconsin was admitted to the United States on May 29, 1848. Although it has been amended over a hundred times, the original constitution ratified in 1848 is still in use. This makes the Wisconsin Constitution the oldest U.S. state constitution outside of New England. Only Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island use older constitutions.

Kansas House of Representatives

The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. Composed of 125 state representatives from districts with roughly equal populations of at least 19,000, its members are responsible for crafting and voting on legislation, helping to create a state budget, and legislative oversight over state agencies.

Arkansas General Assembly Legislature of Arkansas

The Arkansas General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Arkansas Senate with 35 members, and the lower Arkansas House of Representatives with 100 members. All 135 representatives and state senators represent an equal number of constituent districts. The General Assembly convenes on the second Monday of every other year. A session lasts for 60 days unless the legislature votes to extend it. The Governor of Arkansas can issue a "call" for a special session during the interims between regular sessions. The General Assembly meets at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Legislative Manual" (PDF). Arizona Legislative Council. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "Legislative Council". Azleg.gov. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  3. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(15).
  4. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(6)(A).
  5. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(6)(B).
  6. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(6)(C).
  7. 1 2 "Constitution of Arizona, art. 4, pt. 2, § 21". Arizona State Legislature. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  8. "State of Arizona Official Canvass". Arizona Secretary of State. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  9. "Arizona lawmaker Carlyle Begay switches political party". AZCentral. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.