The Louisiana Legislature
Louisiana's state government looks a lot like our federal government.
We have three branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
The Legislative Branch makes laws for the state, the Executive Branch enforces
the laws passed by the State Legislature, and the Judicial Branch makes sure
these laws don't violate either our state or federal constitutions.
We're going to focus on the Legislative Branch.
There are two groups of people that make up Louisiana's Legislature.
One is the House of Representatives, the other is the Senate.
Since we have two houses, our Legislature is called "bicameral."
In the Latin language "bi" means two, and "camera!" means house.
There are 105 state representatives and 39 state senators.
They are elected to represent us every four years, called a term.
Every year, the Legislature meets in Baton Rouge, our state capital, to participate in legislative sessions.
A session is when they get together to debate each other's ideas to improve our state.
They write their ideas down, and we call these documents bills.
If a bill gets the okay from both Houses, and the Governor likes it, it becomes a law.
In even-numbered years we have a Regular Session in which all kinds of bills are introduced.
In odd-numbered years we have Fiscal Sessions in which bills dealing with money matters may be introduced.
Additionally, each member may prefile ( file before session begins) not more than 5 bills that are not about money matters.
Each member may also prefile an unlimited number of local or special bills(bills that do not affect the entire state) and 5
more fiscal or local bills once session begins.
We also can have Special Sessions.
If the Legislature is not in session, and something happens that needs to be discussed by both Houses, the Governor,
or the Legislature itself can call a Special Session.