Delaware General Assembly

Last updated
Delaware General Assembly
Seal of Delaware.svg
Type
Type
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
Leadership
Bethany Hall-Long (D)
since 2017
Peter Schwartzkopf (D)
since 2013
Structure
Seats62
Delaware State Senate Partisan Breakdown.svg
Senate political groups
  •   Democratic (14)
  •   Republican (7)
Delaware House of Representatives Partisan Breakdown.svg
General Assembly political groups
Elections
Senate last election
November 3, 2020
Senate next election
November 8, 2022
Meeting place
Delaware State Capitol.jpg
Legislative Hall, Dover
Website
legis.delaware.gov

The Delaware General Assembly is the legislature of the U.S. state of Delaware. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the Delaware Senate with 21 senators and the Delaware House of Representatives with 41 representatives. It meets at Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware, convening on the second Tuesday of January of odd-numbered years, with a second session of the same Assembly convening likewise in even-numbered years. Normally the sessions are required to adjourn by the last day of June of the same calendar year. However the Governor can call a special session of the legislature at any time.

Contents

Members are elected from single-member districts, all apportioned to roughly equal populations after each decennial Census. Elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November and about one-half of the Senate is elected every two years for a four-year term, and the entire House of Representatives is elected every two years for a two-year term. Vacancies are filled through special elections. There are no term limits for either chamber.

With 62 seats, the Delaware General Assembly is the second-smallest bicameral state legislature in the United States – ahead of Alaska (60 seats) and behind Nevada (63).

History

The Delaware General Assembly was one of the thirteen legislatures that participated in the American War of Independence. Created by the Delaware Constitution of 1776, its membership and responsibilities have been modified by the Delaware Constitution of 1792, the Delaware Constitution of 1831, the Delaware Constitution of 1897, and Supreme Court of the United States decision in Reynolds v. Sims in 1965.

Significant actions of the General Assembly include the calling of the constitutional convention which became the first to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787 (which led to Delaware's state nickname, "the First State"), and its rejection of secession from the Union on January 3, 1861, even though Delaware was a slave state. Also significant was its repeated refusal to legislate the end of slavery or voting rights for women, requiring federal law to enforce those changes.

Until 1898 the General Assembly was apportioned by county, with a total of 30 members elected county-wide "at-large" with equal numbers from each of the three counties. After 1898 the total membership was increased to 52 and they were elected from districts, mostly corresponding to the geographical boundaries of hundreds within the counties. However, there was little recognition of disparities in population, except for the addition of two extra senators and five extra representatives elected from much more populous New Castle County. After the Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims in 1965, the General Assembly was forced to redistrict so that all members of both houses were elected from districts of equal population. By 1972, the total membership had increased to its present 62.

In 1924, Florence Wood Hanby became the first woman elected to the Delaware General Assembly, winning a seat in the Delaware House of Representatives. [1] [2]

It is the only legislature with the power to unilaterally amend its constitution without requiring a referendum or any other approval. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

Colorado General Assembly State legislature

The Colorado General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Colorado. It is a bicameral legislature that was created by the 1876 state constitution. Its statutes are codified in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). The session laws are published in the Session Laws of Colorado.

North Carolina General Assembly Legislature of North Carolina

The North Carolina General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the State government of North Carolina. The legislature consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly meets in the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.

Ohio General Assembly

The Ohio General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Ohio. It consists of the 99-member Ohio House of Representatives and the 33-member Ohio Senate. Both houses of the General Assembly meet at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

New Jersey Legislature

The New Jersey Legislature is the legislative branch of the government of the U.S. state of New Jersey. In its current form, as defined by the New Jersey Constitution of 1947, the Legislature consists of two houses: the General Assembly and the Senate. The Legislature meets in the New Jersey State House, in the state capital of Trenton. Democrats currently hold veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature.

Indiana General Assembly State legislature of Indiana, United States

The Indiana General Assembly is the state legislature, or legislative branch, of the state of Indiana. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of a lower house, the Indiana House of Representatives, and an upper house, the Indiana Senate. The General Assembly meets annually at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

California State Senate Upper house of the California State Legislature

The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature, the lower house being the California State Assembly. The State Senate convenes, along with the State Assembly, at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

Senate of Pakistan Legislative Assembly in Pakistan

Senate of Pakistan or Aiwān-e-Bālā Pākistān is the upper legislative chamber of the bicameral legislature of Pakistan, and together with the National Assembly makes up the Parliament.

Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the electoral districts of state legislative chambers must be roughly equal in population. Along with Baker v. Carr (1962) and Wesberry v. Sanders (1964), it was part of a series of Warren Court cases that applied the principle of "one person, one vote" to U.S. legislative bodies.

Tennessee General Assembly

The Tennessee General Assembly (TNGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is a part-time bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Speaker of the Senate carries the additional title and office of Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee. In addition to passing a budget for state government plus other legislation, the General Assembly appoints three state officers specified by the state constitution. It is also the initiating body in any process to amend the state's constitution.

South Carolina General Assembly State legislature of the U.S. state of South Carolina

The South Carolina General Assembly, also called the South Carolina Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of South Carolina. The legislature is bicameral and consists of the lower South Carolina House of Representatives and the upper South Carolina Senate. All together, the General Assembly consists of 170 members. The legislature convenes at the State House in Columbia.

South Carolina Senate House of legislature for the US state of South Carolina

The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly, the lower house being the South Carolina House of Representatives. It consists of 46 senators elected from single member districts for four-year terms at the same time as United States presidential elections.

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

The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Wisconsin State Senate and the lower Wisconsin State Assembly, both of which have had Republican majorities since January 2011. With both houses combined, the legislature has 132 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. The Legislature convenes at the state capitol in Madison.

Pennsylvania General Assembly State legislature of the US state of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the legislature of the U.S. commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The legislature convenes in the State Capitol building in Harrisburg. In colonial times (1682–1776), the legislature was known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and was unicameral. Since the Constitution of 1776, the legislature has been known as the General Assembly. The General Assembly became a bicameral legislature in 1791.

House of Representatives of Liberia Lower house of Liberian legislature

The House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the bicameral legislative branch of Liberia, and together with the Senate comprises the Legislature of Liberia. The number of seats is fixed by law at 73, with each county being apportioned a number of seats based on its percentage of the national population. House members represent single-member districts within the counties drawn up by the National Elections Commission and serve six-year terms. The House meets at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.

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.

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.

Nevada Legislature Bicameral legislative branch for the state of Nevada

The Nevada Legislature is a bicameral body, consisting of the lower house, the Assembly, with 42 members, and the upper house, the Senate, with 21. With a total of 63 seats, the Legislature is the third-smallest bicameral state legislature in the United States, after Alaska's and Delaware's (62). The Nevada State Legislature as of 2019 is the first majority female State Legislature in the history of the United States. The Democratic Party currently controls both houses of the Nevada State Legislature.

Louisiana State Legislature

The Louisiana State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is a bicameral body, comprising the lower house, the Louisiana House of Representatives with 105 representatives, and the upper house, the Louisiana State Senate with 39 senators. Members of each house are elected from single-member districts of roughly equal populations.

National Assembly of Thailand

The National Assembly of Thailand is the bicameral legislative branch of the government of Thailand. It convenes in the Sappaya-Sapasathan, Dusit District, Bangkok.

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. "Woman Wielding Power: Pioneer Female State Legislators". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  2. Weatherford, Doris (2012). Women in American Politics: History and Milestones. SAGE. p. 96. ISBN   9781608710072.
  3. "ARTICLE. XVI AMENDMENTS AND CONVENTIONS". delcode.delaware.gov. Retrieved 6 April 2018.