Idaho Legislature

Last updated
Idaho Legislature
Seal of Idaho.svg
Type
Type
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
Leadership
Janice McGeachin (R)
since January 7, 2019
Brent Hill (R)
since December 1, 2010
Scott Bedke (R)
since December 5, 2012
Structure
Seats105 voting members
  • 35 senators
  • 70 representatives
Idaho State Senate partisan breakdown.svg
State Senate political groups
  •   Republican (28)
  •   Democratic (7)
Idaho State House 2019-2021.svg
House of Representatives political groups
Meeting place
Idaho State Capitol.jpg
Idaho State Capitol, Boise, Idaho
Website
http://www.legislature.idaho.gov

The Idaho Legislature consists of the upper Idaho Senate and the lower Idaho House of Representatives. Idaho is divided into 35 legislative districts, which each elect one senator and two representatives. There are no term limits for either chamber.

Contents

The crossing of upper and lower house districts into a single constituency is found in only seven U.S. state legislatures: Idaho, Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington. Based on 2010 census data, each legislative district in the state of Idaho had approximately 44,788 residents.

History

The first Idaho legislature convened in December 1890.

Elections and composition

Members of the Idaho Legislature were originally elected by county, but in recent times districts apportioned by population have replaced representation by county.

Today members of the Idaho Legislature are elected from 35 districts throughout the state. Some districts include several counties, while others are located entirely within a single county. Ada County, the state's largest by population, currently has nine legislative districts within its boundaries (as of the 2010 redistricting, Ada County has Legislative Districts 14, 15, 16 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.) [1]

All 105 members are elected simultaneously every two years on the same day as the federal election day in early November. [2]

Districts

Each district is represented by one senator and two representatives. Idaho has fourteen committees in the House of Representatives and ten committees in the Senate. Currently, there are thirty-five members in the Senate with twenty-six men and nine women. The House of Representatives also currently holds seventy members with forty-six men and twenty-four women.

Districts are reapportioned every 10 years. The next reapportionment is expected to occur after the 2020 census and take effect as of the 2022 election.

In the 1980s voters elected legislators from two districts, a smaller local district and a larger "floterial" district which often encompassed an entire region of the state. Legislative seats in floterial districts were last contested in 1990. Today floterial districts are prohibited by the Idaho Constitution. [2]

Responsibilities

The Idaho Legislature is responsible for managing and carrying out constituent needs through public satisfaction and domain. The Idaho Legislation is mainly concerned for carrying out the public's interests and turning it into policies. The committee structure is 24 people total, divided by 10 in the Senate and 14 in the House of Representatives. The responsibilities are ideally divided throughout the day. Normally, the sessions begin in the morning and last until the job is done. In the afternoon and early in the morning meetings are scheduled so it doesn't interfere with daily sessions.

2017 Idaho Legislature

Currently both houses of the Idaho Legislature are controlled by the Republican Party with large majorities. In the 2017 64th Legislature the Senate is composed of 6 Democrats and 29 Republicans. The House is composed of 11 Democrats and 59 Republicans.

In terms of single party strength the Idaho Senate is tied with South Dakota for the third most Republican controlled senate in the nation behind Wyoming (27–3) and Utah (24–5). The Idaho House is tied with Utah as the second most Republican controlled lower house in the nation only trailing Wyoming (52–8).

Current Sessions

The 2020 legislative session will begin January 9th. The 2019 legislative session started January 7th and was later adjourned after 95 days of being in session. Which is 15 more than the previous year in 2018. During the 2019 legislative session there were 353 bills enacted into laws, 522 bills introduced, and 761 legislations drafted. While the legislature is in between sessions legislators work from their home. [3]

Location and time of operation

Chamber of the House of Representatives in 2018 House of Representatives Chamber, Idaho State Capitol.jpg
Chamber of the House of Representatives in 2018

The Idaho Legislature normally convenes at the Idaho State Capitol in downtown Boise. The Legislature meets annually from January until mid-March, although sessions have been known to last into May. The Governor of Idaho may also call special sessions at any time.

The Idaho State Capitol Commission [4] was created by Governor Phil Batt in 1998. The Commission undertook the leading role of extensively remodeling the capitol building starting in 2007. The 2008 and 2009 sessions of the Idaho Legislature met in converted courtrooms in the old Ada County Courthouse. The capitol building was official re-opened and re-dedicated on January 9, 2010.

See also

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References

  1. "L93.pdf" (PDF). legislature.idaho.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Idaho State Constitution Article III". sos.idaho.gov. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. .
  4. Idaho State Capitol Commission. Accessed 3 August 2007.