The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name “General Court” is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when the legislative body also sat in judgment of judicial appeals cases. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the Massachusetts House of Representatives has 160 members. Massachusetts convenes in the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston, Massachusetts. The members of the Massachusetts General Court serve two-year terms.
The responsibility for enacting laws in Massachusetts rests primarily with the General Court. The two legislative branches work concurrently on pending laws brought before them.
Each Representative represents about 40,000 residents. Representative districts are named for the primary county in which they are located, and tend to stay within one county, although some districts contain portions of adjacent counties. There are 40 senatorial districts in Massachusetts, named for the counties in which they are located