New Hampshire General Court

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General Court of New Hampshire
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Chuck Morse (R)
since September 3, 2013
Shawn Jasper (R)
since December 5, 2014
Structure
Seats 424
24 senators
400 representatives
Senate_Diagram_State_of_New_Hampshire_2014.svg
Senate political groups
House_of_Representatives_Diagram_State_of_New_Hampshire_2014.svg
House of Representatives political groups
Elections
Senate last election
November 4, 2014
November 4, 2014
Meeting place
New Hampshire State House
Website
gencourt.state.nh.us

The General Court of New Hampshire is the bicameral state legislature of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The lower house is the New Hampshire House of Representatives with 400 members. The upper house is the New Hampshire Senate with 24 members. With 424 members, the General Court is the largest state legislature in the United States and the fourth-largest English-speaking legislative body in the world, behind the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of India, and the United States Congress.[1] The General Court has one of the greatest disparities in size between chambers of a bicameral legislature.[citation needed]

On November 2, 2010, the New Hampshire General Court returned to Republican party control with 19-5 in the Senate and 298-104 in the House. But on November 6, 2012, the Democrats managed to retake the House of Representatives with a 221-179 majority, while the Senate remained in Republican control, 13-11. The General Court convenes in the New Hampshire State House in downtown Concord.

House of Representatives[edit]

Percent of Representatives from each party by District, 2010-2012

The House of Representatives consists of 400 members coming from 204 districts across the state created from divisions of the state's counties, each making up about 3,000 residents for every one legislator. If the same level of representation were present in Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives would have approximately 99,000 members, according to current population estimates.

Unlike in many legislation halls, there is no central "aisle" to cross. Instead there are five sections with aisles between them. Party seating location is not enforced, as seating is often decided on the personal preference of the legislator, except in the case of the sixth section, which is the speaker's seat at the head of the hall.

Historically, the House was dominated by the Republican Party, which held a 249–151 majority at the end of the 2004-6 session. However, even with this 98-vote majority, the Republicans were often divided between the more conservative House Republican Alliance and moderates known as the Main Street Republicans. The division was approximately 141 voting along HRA lines and 110 voting along Main Street lines if the difference is considered to be the 50% line of the HRA's 2004 scorecard. However, in the 2006 election, the Democrats swept into control of the chamber and held a majority for four years. In November 2010, Republicans won by landslides in both the House and the Senate. In 2012, Democrats again took control of the House of Representatives, with a larger majority than between 2006-2010.

Composition of the House of Representatives[edit]

Affiliation Members
  Republican Party 239
  Democratic Party 160
  Independent 1
  Vacant 0
 Total
400
 Majority
79

New Hampshire Senate[edit]

Main article: New Hampshire Senate
New Hampshire Senate Districts for the 160th Session, with Republican seats in red and Democratic seats in blue

The New Hampshire Senate has been meeting since 1784. It consists of 24 members representing Senate districts based on population. Currently, there are 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats in the Senate.

Composition of the Senate[edit]

Affiliation Members
  Democratic Party 10
  Republican Party 14
 Total
24
 Majority
4

Media coverage[edit]

The New Hampshire State House press covers the New Hampshire State House for newspapers, news services and other news-gathering operations. The New Hampshire General Court website has calendars and journals for both the House and the Senate.

Syndicated New Hampshire State House columnists include the widely read Norma Love of the Associated Press and Chris Dornin, founder of Golden Dome News. Reporters Tom Fahey of the Union Leader and Kevin Landrigan of the Nashua Telegraph each run their paper's respective State House bureaus. Colin Manning resigned from his work as a State House syndicated columnist for Foster's Daily Democrat to become Governor John Lynch's press secretary. Foster's Daily Democrat also syndicates reports by Norma Love and Chris Dornin. The Concord Monitor also reports State House activities as the capital city's newspaper.

The State House opened in 1819. The House of Representatives continues to meet in its original chambers, making Representatives Hall the oldest chamber in the United States still in continuous legislative use.[citation needed] When numbered seats were installed in Representatives Hall, the number thirteen was purposely omitted in deference to triskaidekaphobia.

The annual pay for legislators is set by law at $100.00,[2] plus a per diem for each day they attend.

References[edit]

External links[edit]