State legislatures

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State legislatures are the source of most laws in the United States. Historically, until the early 1960s, less than half of state legislatures met every year. The vast majority (31 out of 50) met only biennially - every other year. But there was a massive expansion in the 1970s, during the battle over ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, that resulted in the number of state legislatures meeting annually growing from 19 to 41. Today 46 out of 50 state legislatures meet every year, and only Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas meet biannually (all in odd-numbered years).[1]

Four other states -- Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont -- divide their time between two years.

As of the beginning of 2011, state legislatures had the following compositions:[2]

Republicans control 26 state legislatures, Democrats 17, and five have split control. In New York, officials are still determining who is in charge in the state Senate. Republicans control more legislatures than they have since 1952.

Republican majority in both chambers (27)[3]

  • Alabama
  • Arizona (veto-proof majorities, and a Republican governor)
  • Florida (Republican governor also)
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana(Republican governor also)
  • Kansas (Republican governor also)
  • Louisiana (Republican governor also)
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri (nearly veto-proof majorities)
  • Montana
  • Nebraska[4]
  • New Hampshire (veto-proof majorities)
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio (Republican governor also)
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas (Republican governor also)
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

please add 5 more to the above list

Republican majority in only one chamber (5)

  • Kentucky (Republican majority in the Senate, but a Democratic majority in the House)

Democratic majority in both chambers (17)

  • Arkansas


  3. Including the ostensibly "non-partisan", unicameral Nebraska.
  4. Nebraska has only one chamber (unicameral) and is bipartisan, but it is similar to Republican in viewpoints.