About State Legislatures


legislative chamber in California

3 Strategies Lawmakers Can Use to Check Executive Powers

Our system of governance is based on three branches, each vested with powers and authorities to balance out and place checks on the other two. But a legislature must exercise that authority for the principle to play out.


Remote Public Participation in Committee Proceedings

The COVID-19 pandemic posed many new challenges for state lawmakers this past year, not least among them: how to keep “the people's house” open to the public, as some state capitol buildings were closed and some legislative chambers met remotely. This page examines the approaches legislatures have used to integrate public participation. 

Save The Date 2021


About State Legislatures


Continuity of Legislature During Emergency

NCSL has compiled information for legislatures to consider in developing or reviewing a continuity of government plan. 



State Legislator Demographics

This new interactive webpage builds on NCSL's previous research on the demographics of state legislators and allows users to compare data from 2015 to that from 2020. The analysis covers the gender, race/ethnicity, education, age and religion of legislators across the country.


2021 State Legislative Session Calendar

Find out the 2021 state legislative session dates: when state sessions begin, adjourn and convene for special sessions.


legislative chamber in California

Legislator's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure

Now available online! This guide provides basic parliamentary information in an easy-to-read format. It is not a comprehensive parliamentary manual nor does it cover every nuance of legislative procedure. Rather, it serves as a primer on parliamentary fundamentals.