Indiana General Assembly
|Houses|| Senate |
House of Representatives
Rodric Bray (R)
since November 20, 2018
Todd Huston (R)
since March 9, 2020
House of Representatives political groups
Senate political groups
House of Representatives last election
|November 6, 2018|
Senate last election
|November 6, 2018|
|Indiana State House, Indianapolis|
|House of Representatives Chamber|
|Constitution of Indiana|
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.
Members of the General Assembly are elected from districts that are realigned every ten years. Representatives serve terms of two years and senators serve terms of four years. Both houses can create bills, but bills must pass both houses before it can be submitted to the governor and enacted into law.
Currently, the Republican Party holds supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Senate by a 40–10 margin, and in the House of Representatives by a 67–33 margin.
The Indiana General Assembly is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate. days (not necessarily consecutively) and must be adjourned by April 30. During even-numbered years the legislature meets for 30 days (not necessarily consecutively) and must be adjourned by March 15. The General Assembly may not adjourn for more than three days without a resolution approving adjournment being passed in both houses. The governor has the authority to call on the General Assembly to convene a special session if legislators are unable to complete necessary work within the time allotted by the regular sessions. Special sessions of the General Assembly were rarely called in the state's early history, but have become more commonplace in modern times.Indiana has a part-time legislature that does not meet year-round. The General Assembly convenes on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January. During odd-numbered years the legislature meets for 61
The General Assembly delegates are elected from districts. Every ten years the districts are realigned by the General Assembly using information from the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that each district is roughly equal in population.The districting is maintained to comply with the United States Supreme Court ruling in Reynolds v. Sims .
The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives each have several committees that are charged with overseeing certain areas of the state. Committees vary in size, from three to eleven members. The committees are chaired by senior members of the majority party. Senators and representatives can be members of multiple committees. Most legislation begins within the committees who have responsibility for the area that the bill will affect. Once approved by a committee, a bill can be entered into the agenda for debate and vote in the full chamber.Although not common, bills can be voted on by the full house without going through the committee process.
Indiana legislators make a base annual salary of $22,616, plus $155 for each day in session or at a committee hearing and $62 in expense pay every other day.
Article 4, Section 7, of the Indiana Constitution states the qualifications to become a Senator or Representative. The candidate must have been a U.S. citizen for a minimum of two years prior to his candidacy and must have been resident of the district that he seeks to represent for one year. Senators must be at least twenty-five years of age and representatives must be twenty-one when sworn into office. The candidate cannot hold any other public office in the state or federal government during their term. The candidate must also be a registered voter within the district they seek to represent.Candidates are required to file papers stating their economic interests.
Article 4, Section 3, of the state constitution places several limitations on the size and composition of the General Assembly. The Senate can contain no more than fifty members, and the senators serve for a term of four years. The House of Representatives can contain no more than one hundred members, and the representatives serve terms of two years. There is no limit to how many terms a state senator or representative may serve.
There are several checks and balances built into the state constitution that limit the power of the General Assembly. Other clauses allow the General Assembly to balance and limit the authority of the other branches of the government.Among these checks and balances is the governor's authority to veto any bill passed by the General Assembly. The General Assembly may, in turn, override his veto by simple majority vote in both houses. Bills passed by a supermajority automatically become law without requiring the signature of the governor. Once the bill is made law, it can be challenged in the state courts which may rule the law to be unconstitutional, effectively repealing the law. The General Assembly could then override the court's decision by amending the state constitution to include the law. The General Assembly has historically been the most powerful branch of the state government, dominating a weak governor's office. Although the governor's office has gained more power since the 1970s, the General Assembly still retains the power to remove much of that authority.
The authority and powers of the Indiana General Assembly are established in the state constitution. The General Assembly has sole legislative power within the state government. Each house can initiate legislation, with the exception that the Senate is not permitted to initiate legislation that will affect revenue.Bills are debated and passed separately in each house, but must be passed by both houses before they can submit to the governor. Each law passed by the General Assembly must be applied uniformly to the entire state; the General Assembly has no authority to create legislation that targets only a particular community.
The General Assembly is empowered to regulate the state's judiciary system by setting the size of the courts and the bounds of their districts. The body also has the authority to monitor the activities of the executive branch of the state government, has limited power to regulate the county governments within the state, and has sole power to initiate the process to amend the state constitution.
Under Indiana law, legislators cannot be arrested while the General Assembly is in session unless the crime they commit is treason, a felony, or breach of the peace.
The Indiana Senate consists of 50 members elected to four-year terms. Suzanne Crouch, the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, presides over the Senate while it is in session and casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie.The Senate President Pro Tempore is Senator Rodric D. Bray of Martinsville. The 2019–2020 Senate has a Republican super-majority, with Republicans holding 40 out of 50 seats. The Senate offices are located in the west wing of the second floor of the Indiana Statehouse, and the Senate chambers are on the west wing of the third floor.
|President/Lieutenant Governor||Suzanne Crouch||Republican|
|President Pro Tempore of the Senate||Rodric Bray||Republican|
|Majority Leader||Mark Messmer||Republican|
|Majority Whip||Michael Crider||Republican|
|Minority Leader||Greg Taylor||Democrat|
|Minority Whip||Lonnie Randolph||Democrat|
The Indiana House of Representatives consists of 100 members elected to two-year terms.The current Speaker of the House as of March 2020 is Representative Todd Huston. In 2015, the House of Representatives has a Republican majority of 70 seats, while the Democrats have 30 seats. The House offices are located in the east wing of the second floor of the Indiana Statehouse and the House chambers are on the third floor.
|Speaker of the House||Todd Huston||Republican|
|Majority Leader||Matthew Lehman||Republican|
|Minority Leader||Phil GiaQuinta||Democrat|
Indiana's first constitution was ratified on June 10, 1816, and the election of the first General Assembly took place on August 5 of that year.They convened in the original three-room statehouse located in Corydon. The body consisted of ten senators and twenty-nine representatives, sixteen of whom had been signers of the Indiana state constitution. There, the General Assembly began its development into the institution it is today. The original constitution provided that representatives served terms of one year and senators served terms of three years, and permitted an annual meeting of the assembly from December until March.
At first, there was only one political party of any consequence in Indiana, the Democratic-Republicans. The party was, however, broken into three divisions that would later split off into their own parties. The divisions were mainly over the issue of slavery, but they would develop more differences in later years.The Jennings party, made up of abolitionists, was dominant in the beginning. The Noble party was in favor of slavery, and the Hendricks party was generally neutral, although Hendricks himself was openly anti-slavery. In 1818, the Noble party tried to impeach Governor Jennings over his role in the negotiations of the Treaty of St. Mary's. After two months of debate in the House, and Jennings having destroyed the evidence of his role, the House of Representatives dropped the investigation and issued a resolution that confirmed Jennings in his position as governor.
In its first two decades, the General Assembly laid the foundation of the state. They created the framework for the state's public school system, began construction on the State Seminary and of roads in the southern part of the state. Initially, the General Assembly was faced with low tax revenues. In response to the problem, they created the Bank of Indiana and sold nine million acres (36,000 km2) of public lands to finance their projects. The General Assembly relocated the capital to Indianapolis in 1824, and in 1831 they authorized the construction of the first dedicated statehouse.
In the 1830s, the Whigs split from the Democratic-Republicans in response to national policies. The Whigs held a strong majority in the General Assembly in that decade.In 1843, the remnants of the old slavery party had strengthened into the Democratic Party and swept into power, the Whigs never regained their majority and the Democrats maintained power until the middle of the American Civil War. In 1836 the General Assembly passed the Mammoth Internal Improvement Act and set plans into motion to modernize the state's infrastructure. The wilderness of northern and central Indiana was slowly developed as the General Assembly approved the construction of roads, canals, railroads, and numerous other infrastructure projects. This led the state to near bankruptcy in the late 1830s, but it was avoided when the General Assembly spun off the failing canals, and half of their debts, to private companies in 1841. The failure of the projects was the main factor in the Whig's loss of power.
The state constitution had come under considerable criticism beginning in the 1840s because it allowed most government positions to be filled by appointment. The problem with this method of filling positions did not manifest itself until the advent of the state's political parties. Once in power, a party could stack the government with its own members, making it difficult for the minority to regain power. Another problem was that the authority for many trivial issues was not delegated to other authorities. For example, if a man was to divorce his wife, the divorce bill had to be approved by the General Assembly before he or she could legally remarry.
In 1851, a new state constitution was created and ratified. Among the constitution's new clauses was an extension of the terms of representatives to two years and senators to four years. It also made many of the previously appointed positions open to public election.The new constitution delegated many minor tasks to newly created elected offices. With its workload considerably decreased, instead of meeting annually, the General Assembly only convened a session every two years. The new constitution also placed new limits on the General Assembly's power to create local laws, the General Assembly having become notorious for creating state-level laws that were only applied to one town or county.
The new constitution led to the gradual erosion of the Democratic majority. In 1854, the Republican Party was established and drew in many of the former Whigs. That year the General Assembly was split with no party attaining a majority. The Democrats held the largest number of seats, but the Whigs and Republicans caucused to form a majority and control the assembly. The result was a deadlock on most issues because Republicans and Whigs could not agree on most major issues.By 1858, the Whigs were almost completely disempowered and the Republicans gained enough seats to become the largest party, but not enough to form a majority on their own. That year Governor Ashbel P. Willard called the first special session of the General Assembly because they had been unable to pass an appropriations bill. Democrats regained a small majority by gaining the votes of the disaffected Whigs in the 1860 election.
During the 1860s and the American Civil War, the legislature was the scene of intense debate. At the beginning of the war, the General Assembly was controlled by the southern sympathetic Democrats.Governor Oliver Morton and the Republican minority were able to prevent the General Assembly from meeting in 1862 and 1863 by denying the body quorum. Morton even had some members of the body arrested or detained on suspicions of disloyalty. The lack of funding created by this crisis again led to the near bankruptcy of the state. In 1864, the Republicans gained a majority and convened the General Assembly to remedy the state's funding problems.
During the 1880s and 1890s, Indiana industry began to grow rapidly because of the Indiana Gas Boom, leading to the creation of many labor unions and a return to Democratic control of the General Assembly. One of the events to occur during the period was the Black Day of the General Assembly, a situation arising from Governor Isaac P. Gray's desire to be elected to the United States Senate. Beginning with the state senate's refusal to seat a new lieutenant governor, fighting broke out in the chamber and spread throughout the statehouse. Shots were fired, and Democrats and Republicans threatened to kill each other before police could bring the situation under control.A second bout of violence broke out in the 1894 regular session when Republicans locked the doors of the House chambers preventing Governor Claude Matthews from delivering a veto of a bill that repealed over a decade of Democratic legislation. The governor personally led fellow party members in beating down the door and unsuccessfully attempting to fight their way to the podium to deliver the vetoed bill; one newspaper said Democrats and Republicans "fought like beasts of the forest." During those decades, the General Assembly enacted a series of laws to protect the rights of workers and encourage more industrial growth. The women's suffrage movement also began in the state and rallies were held in Indianapolis to support the female suffrage legislation that was ultimately voted down in the General Assembly.
During 1907, the General Assembly made Indiana the first state to enact eugenics legislation, and the law remained in effect until 1921. The law led to the forced sterilization of thousands of criminals until it was ruled unconstitutional by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921.
In 1921, Julia Nelson was the first woman elected to the Indiana General Assembly.
Scandal erupted in 1925 when it was discovered that the Indiana Branch of the Ku Klux Klan controlled over half the seats in the General Assembly. During the session, Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson boasted "I am the law in Indiana".During the next two years, the federal government intervened, Stephenson was convicted of murder. After the governor refused to pardon him, Stephenson indicted his co-conspirators, leading to many of the state government being charged with various crimes and removing much of the Klan's power.
In the 1930s, the General Assembly established the state's first general welfare programs to help the poor affected by the Great Depression. The General Assembly passed the nation's first DUI laws in 1939, establishing a blood alcohol level of .15 as the legal limit. The 1940s led to the first African American being elected to the Indiana Senate and legislation that desegregated the public schools in 1949.
The General Assembly established the state's first sales tax at two percent in 1962. The revenues from the tax led to a host of new projects across the state. The General Assembly also passed the Indiana Civil Rights bill in 1963, granting equal protection to minorities in seeking employment.In 1970 a series of constitutional amendments were passed. Among them was one that authorized the General Assembly to meet annually instead of biennially.
During the 1988 session, the Indiana House of Representatives was split evenly between both parties for the first time in Indiana's history. After a period of negotiations, both parties agreed to share majority powers, alternating which party controlled the position of speaker each day. The same General Assembly legalized horse racing in the state in 1989.
Governor Evan Bayh called a special session of the General Assembly in 1992 because no budget had been passed in the regular session. During the special session, the General Assembly passed the budget and also legalized the operation of riverboat casinos in the state, overriding the governor's veto to prevent it.
The General Assembly passed property tax reform legislation in 2008, capping property taxes at one percent, making Indiana one of the lowest property tax locations in the nation.
The Governor of Indiana is the head of state and head of government of the state of Indiana. The governor is elected to a four-year term and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the functions of many agencies of the Indiana state government. The governor also shares power with other statewide executive officers, who manage other state government agencies. The governor works out of the Indiana Statehouse and holds official functions at the Indiana Governor's Residence in the state capital of Indianapolis.
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.
The Vermont General Assembly is the legislative body of the state of Vermont, in the United States. The Legislature is formally known as the "General Assembly," but the style of "Legislature" is commonly used, including by the body itself. The General Assembly is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the 150-member Vermont House of Representatives and the 30-member Vermont Senate. Members of the House are elected by single and two-member districts. 58 districts choose one member, and 46 choose two, with the term of service being two years. The Senate includes 30 Senators, elected by 3 single-member and 10 multi-member districts with two, three, or six members each. It is the only state legislative body in the United States in which a third-party has had continuous representation and been consecutively elected alongside Democrats and Republicans.
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.
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.
The Colorado Senate is the upper house of the Colorado General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Colorado. It is composed of 35 members elected from single-member districts, with each district having a population of about 123,000 as of the 2000 census. Senators are elected to four-year terms, and are limited to two consecutive terms in office.
The Illinois General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois and comprises the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. The General Assembly was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The State Senate has 59 members while the House has 118 members, each elected from single-member districts. A Senate district is formed by combining two adjacent House districts. The current General Assembly is Illinois's 101st. The General Assembly meets in the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Its session laws are generally adopted by majority vote in both houses, and upon gaining the assent of the Governor of Illinois. They are published in the official Laws of Illinois.
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.
The Maryland Senate, sometimes referred to as the Maryland State Senate, is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. Composed of 47 senators elected from an equal number of constituent single-member districts, the Senate is responsible, along with the Maryland House of Delegates, for passage of laws in Maryland, and for confirming executive appointments made by the Governor of Maryland.
The Indiana House of Representatives is the lower house of the Indiana General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Indiana. The House is composed of 100 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. House members serve two-year terms without term limits. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, each State House district contains an average of 64,838 people.
Joseph Albert Wright was the tenth governor of the U.S. state of Indiana from December 5, 1849 to January 12, 1857, most noted for his opposition to banking. His positions created a rift between him and the Indiana General Assembly who overrode all of his anti-banking vetoes. He responded by launching legal challenges to the acts, but was ruled against by the Indiana Supreme Court. The state's second constitutional convention was held during 1850–1851 in which the current Constitution of Indiana was drafted. He was a supporter of the new constitution and gave speeches around the state urging its adoption. He was opposed throughout his term by Senator Jesse D. Bright, the leader of the state Democratic Party.
The 2005 regular session of the 148th Georgia General Assembly met from January 10, 2005, to March 31, 2005, at which time both houses adjourned sine die. In addition, Governor Sonny Perdue called for a special session, which met from September 6, 2005, to September 10, 2005. This was the first session since Reconstruction that both houses were controlled by Republicans, as the House of Representatives was won by the GOP at the 2004 election. The legislature redrew legislative and congressional maps in 2005 after federal judges struck down both maps which were drawn by the 146th legislature as violating the one person, one vote guarantee of the U.S. Constitution, resulting in a reshuffling of districts which took effect in the next legislature which shored up Republican gains in both chambers and in Congress.
Ashbel Parsons Willard was state senator, the 12th Lieutenant Governor, and the 11th Governor of the U.S. state of Indiana. His terms in office were marked by increasingly severe partisanship leading to the breakup of the state Democratic Party in the years leading up to the American Civil War. His brother-in-law John Edwin Cook was involved in John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, and was executed. Willard went to the south to advocate unsuccessfully for his release, and became despised by southerners who accused him of having a secret involvement in the raid. He died two months before the start of the war while giving a speech on national unity, and was the first governor of Indiana to die in office.
The Indiana Senate is the upper house of the Indiana General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Indiana. The Senate is composed of 50 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. Senators serve four-year terms without term limits. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the average State Senator represents 129,676 people.
B. Patrick Bauer is an American politician who served as Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2003 to 2005 and 2007 to 2011. A Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, he has represented the 6th House District since 1970. His district consists primarily of the city of South Bend in St. Joseph County in northern Indiana. On January 28, 2020, Bauer announced that he would not be running for reelection.
The government of Indiana is established and regulated by the Constitution of Indiana. The state-level government consists of three branches: the judicial branch, the legislative branch, and the executive branch. The three branches share power and jointly govern the state of Indiana. County and local governments are also constitutional bodies with limited authority to levy taxes, pass legislation, and create and maintain local public infrastructure.
The recent politics of Colorado, United States, are that of a state considered a swing state.
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of New Jersey:
The Black Day of the General Assembly was February 24, 1887, on which date the Indiana General Assembly dissolved into legislative violence. The event began as an attempt by Governor Isaac P. Gray (R/D) to be elected to the United States Senate and his own party's attempt to thwart him. It escalated when the Democratic-controlled Indiana Senate refused to seat the newly elected lieutenant governor, Robert S. Robertson, after being ordered to do so by the Indiana Supreme Court. When Robertson attempted to enter the chamber he was attacked, beginning four hours of intermittent fighting that spread throughout the Indiana Statehouse. The fight ended after Republicans and Democrats began threatening to kill each other and the Governor ordered police to get the situation under control. Subsequently, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to communicate with the Democratic Senate, ending the legislative session.
The United States Senate elections of 1854 and 1855 were elections which saw the final decline of the Whig Party and the continuing majority of the Democrats. Those Whigs in the South who were opposed to secession ran on the "Opposition Party" ticket, and were elected to a minority. Along with the Whigs, the Senate roster also included Free Soilers, Know Nothings, and a new party: the Republicans. Only five of the twenty-one Senators up for election were re-elected.