Tennessee General Assembly

Tennessee General Assembly


Tennessee General Assembly

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The Tennessee General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee.


Constitutional structure

According to the Tennessee State Constitution of 1870, the General Assembly is a bicameral legislature and consists of a Senate of thirty-three members and a House of Representatives of ninety-nine members.

The representatives are elected to two-year terms; according to a 1966 constitutional amendment the senators are elected to four-year terms which are staggered, with the districts with even numbers being elected in the year of Presidential elections and the those in the districts with odd numbers being elected in the years of Tennessee gubernatorial elections.

Part-time legislature

To keep the legislature a part-time body, it is limited to ninety "legislative days" per two-year term, plus up to fifteen days for organizational purposes at the start of each term. A legislative day is considered any day that the House or Senate formally meets in the chambers of each house. If it remains in session longer than ninety legislative days, lawmakers cease to draw their expense money, currently set at $141 per legislative day.

Legislators also receive an "office allowance" of $1,000 per month, ostensibly for the maintenance of an office area devoted to their legislative work in their homes or elsewhere within their district. Traditionally, it has been easier, politically-speaking, to raise the per diem and office allowance than the...
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