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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
Jan. 9, 2012

2012 Legislative Sessions

Forty-six state legislatures will hold session in 2012. 

DENVER -With the new year comes the start of legislative sessions for 46 states and six territories. All six territories and 39 states will begin in January, the remaining seven states will convene in either February or March.

The length of states' sessions varies from a few months to most of the year. Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania are among the states that meet throughout the year. New Mexico's session, by contrast, will last roughly a month. And Wyoming's will go from Feb. 13 to March 9. Four states—Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas—will not meet this year because they meet biennially. This will be the first year that Oregon will meet in the second year of their biennium since a ballot measure was approved by the electorate allowing the legislature to meet in the even year. Previously, the Oregon Legislative Assembly only met biennially. Florida typically convenes in March and adjourns in May. However, this year the Legislature will convene on Jan. 10 and adjourn March 9 because of redistricting. See the 2012 session calendar for convening and adjourning dates.

Legislators across the country will tackle a host of tough issues in 2012. There are 7,382 elected members serving in the nation's 50 state legislatures.The number of legislators serving in each state, however, varies dramatically, from New Hampshire's 400-seat House of Representatives to Alaska's 20-member Senate. Currently, Democrats control 15 legislatures, Republicans control 27, and seven are split between the two parties.

Members of the media can cite and access the latest data, information and legislative issues from NCSL's website, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube accounts throughout the legislative session.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.