The Indiana General Assembly, with the governor, is responsible for enacting laws by which the residents of our state must abide.
It has the authority to enact laws in any area not prohibited by Indiana's Constitution or by the U.S. Constitution. However, federal law can override state statute.
General Assembly Organization
The Indiana General Assembly is made up of two chambers, the House and the Senate. Legislators serving in the House are called Representatives, and members of the Senate are called Senators.
One legislator is elected from each of the 100 Statehouse districts and 50 state Senate districts in Indiana. Both House and Senate districts are determined by population.
Thus, each member of the House represents roughly the same number of voting age residents, and the same is true for each Senator. Because there are fewer Senate districts, Senators represent a larger number of residents than House members.
Sessions of the General Assembly begin each year in January. Short sessions, held in even-numbered years, last up to 30 days and end by mid-March. Long sessions, held in odd-numbered years, last up to 61 days, ending in April.
Indiana's biennial budget is the reason for the differences in session lengths. The state budget is considered in the long session, providing more time for legislators to complete business on the state's finances as well as non-budgetary legislation.
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