In this month's issue, read about lawmakers who are authors, key cases affecting states before the U.S. Supreme Court, the state of civics knowledge, website ideas to steal and more.
It seems like an easy question: Which legislatures are full time and which are part time? But with 50 different formulas for designing a state legislature, it's difficult to paint this issue in black and white. So we've done it in Red, White and Blue.
State legislatures vary in size, currently ranging from 49 to 424 total members. Legislative size has not remained static, however. Numerous legislatures have changed size in the past four decades.
Democrat ... Green ... Independent ... Republican. State legislators differ in their political party affiliations, so every legislative election affects the partisan composition of chambers in all states except Nebraska. Legislators in Nebraska are required to run on a nonpartisan basis.
One political party typically controls a legislative chamber. Equal splits in partisan composition occur more frequently than most people expect, however. A partisan stalemate does not mean that the business of the state comes to a halt. Find out how legislative chambers have handled legislative deadlock.
There is no "off the shelf" forumla for creating a state legislature. Legislative assemblies in the United States illustrate the wide variety of organizational patterns - varying in size, structure and partisan composition.
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