State Legislatures

State legislature is the legislative branch at the state level of government.  State legislatures perform many of the same duties on the state level that the United States Congress performs on the federal level.  Essentially, they make the laws for the state in which they sit.  The fundamental details of the state legislature are specified in the state constitution.  The legislative branch is usually balanced by a state executive officer and a state judicial system. All states except Nebraska have bicameral legislatures, that is, a legislature that consists of two separate houses, a lower house and an upper house.  Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.

The U.S. has around 7500 state legislators.  State legislatures approve or rewrite the state’s budget recommended by the Governor.  The legislatures use staff aides to assist in the preparation and analysis of legislation, review and amendment of submitted budgets, and in solving constituent issues with state government.

The National Conference of State Legislatures which has its headquarters in Denver conducts meetings of the members of state legislatures.  It has an office in Washington, D.C.  The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization focusing on state legislatures, also has an annual meeting attended by state legislators.


Inside State Legislatures