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Idaho Legislature
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
President of the Senate Brad Little, (R)
since January 12, 2009
Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, (R)
since December 7, 2006
Members 105
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Idaho State Capitol, Boise

The Idaho Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Idaho. It consists of the upper Idaho Senate and the lower Idaho House of Representatives. The Idaho Senate contains 35 Senators, who are elected from 35 districts. The Idaho House of Representatives consists of 70 Representatives, who are elected from the same 35 legislative districts, with 2 being elected from each constituency. There are no term limits for either chamber.

The crossing of upper and lower house districts into a single constituency is found in only seven U.S. state legislatures: Idaho, Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington. As of 2000, each legislative district in the state of Idaho had approximately 37,000 residents.


Elections and composition

Members of the Idaho Legislature were originally elected by county, but in recent times districts apportioned by population have replaced representation by county.

Today members of the Idaho Legislature are elected from 35 districts throughout the state. Some districts include several counties, while others are located entirely within a single county. Ada County, the state's largest by population, currently has eight legislative districts within its boundaries.

All 105 members are elected simultaneously every two years on the same day as the federal election day in early November.[1]

Districts are reapportioned every 10 years. The next reapportionment is expected to occur after the 2010 census and take effect as of the 2012 election.

In the 1980s voters elected legislators from two districts, a smaller local district and a larger "floterial" district which often encompassed an entire region of the state. Legislative seats in floterial districts were last contested in 1990. Today floterial districts are prohibited by the Idaho Constitution.[2]

Currently both houses of the Idaho Legislature are controlled by the Republican Party with large majorities. Although the Democrats picked up six seats in the Idaho House in the 2006 elections, primarily in Boise, Republicans still control the body by a 51-19 majority. The Republican 28-7 majority in the Idaho Senate remained unchanged after the 2006 elections.

Location and time of operation

The Idaho Legislature normally convenes at the Idaho State Capitol in downtown Boise. The Legislature meets annually from January until mid-March, although sessions have been known to last into May. The Governor of Idaho may also call special sessions at any time.

The Idaho State Capitol is currently closed to the public for extensive renovations. The 2008 session of the Idaho Legislature met in converted courtrooms in the old Ada County Courthouse[3]. The 2009 session is also scheduled to meet in the temporary facilities.

External links




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