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New Hampshire General Court

New Hampshire General Court

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The General Court of New Hampshire is the bicameral state legislature of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

. The lower house
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

 is the New Hampshire House of Representatives
New Hampshire House of Representatives
The New Hampshire House of Representatives is the lower house in the New Hampshire General Court. The House of Representatives consists of 400 members coming from 103 districts across the state, created from divisions of the state's counties. On average, each legislator represents about 3,300...

 with 400 members. The upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

 is the New Hampshire Senate
New Hampshire Senate
The New Hampshire Senate has been meeting since 1784. It is the upper house of the New Hampshire General Court. It consists of 24 members representing Senate districts based on population...

 with 24 members. With 424 members, the General Court is the largest state legislature in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the fourth-largest English-speaking legislative body in the world, behind the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, the Parliament of India
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

, and the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

. The General Court has one of the greatest disparities in size between chambers of a bicameral legislature.

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. The General Court convenes in the New Hampshire State House
New Hampshire State House
The New Hampshire State House is the state capitol building of New Hampshire, located in Concord at 107 North Main Street. The capitol houses the New Hampshire General Court, Governor and Executive Council...

 in downtown Concord
Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

, just off U.S. Route 3
U.S. Route 3
U.S. Route 3 is a north–south United States highway that runs from its southern terminus in Cambridge, Massachusetts through New Hampshire to its terminus near Third Connecticut Lake at the Canadian border, where the road continues north as Quebec Route 257.In New Hampshire parts of US 3 are...

.

House of Representatives



The House of Representatives consists of 400 members coming from 103 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
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 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
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, 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
Main Street Republicans
Main Street Republicans is a term used to describe a philosophy in the Republican Party of the United States.There are three meanings for this term....

. The division was approximately 141 voting with 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.

Composition of the House of Representatives

Affiliation Members
Voting Share
  Democratic Party
New Hampshire Democratic Party
The New Hampshire Democratic Party is the local branch of the United States Democratic Party in the state of New Hampshire. The chair is Raymond Buckley. The vice chairs are Martha Fuller Clark and Jane Clemmons.-Current elected officials:...

103 26%
  Republican Party
New Hampshire Republican State Committee
The New Hampshire Republican State Committee is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in New Hampshire. The Republican Executive Committee is headed by Chairman and former New Hampshire gubernatorial primary candidate, Jack Kimball....

294 74%
  Vacant 3 0%
 Total
400 100%
 Majority
195 +49%

New Hampshire Senate




The New Hampshire Senate has been meeting since 1784. It consists of 24 members representing Senate districts based on population. Currently, there are 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats in the Senate.

Composition of the Senate

Affiliation Members
  Democratic Party
New Hampshire Democratic Party
The New Hampshire Democratic Party is the local branch of the United States Democratic Party in the state of New Hampshire. The chair is Raymond Buckley. The vice chairs are Martha Fuller Clark and Jane Clemmons.-Current elected officials:...

5
  Republican Party
New Hampshire Republican State Committee
The New Hampshire Republican State Committee is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in New Hampshire. The Republican Executive Committee is headed by Chairman and former New Hampshire gubernatorial primary candidate, Jack Kimball....

19
 Total
24
 Majority
14

Media coverage


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
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 and Chris Dornin, founder of Golden Dome News. Reporters Tom Fahey
Tom Fahey
Tom Fahey is the State House Bureau Chief of the New Hampshire Union Leader, for which he writes the "State House Dome" column. He is a regular guest on New Hampshire Outlook on New Hampshire Public Television....

 of the Union Leader and Kevin Landrigan
Kevin Landrigan
Kevin Landrigan is a Nashua Telegraph columnist. His column appears in the Sunday paper and is a lengthy look at the New Hampshire State House. He is described by the paper's website as "The Telegraph's Eyes and Ears in Concord."-External links:...

 of the Nashua Telegraph each run their paper's respective State House bureaus. Colin Manning
Colin Manning
Colin Manning is New Hampshire Governor John Lynch's Press Secretary.Manning was the statehouse reporter for Foster's Daily Democrat from 2002-2006. Before that from 1999-2002 he was a correspondent for the Manchester Union Leader...

 resigned from his work as a State House syndicated columnist for Foster's Daily Democrat
Foster's Daily Democrat
Foster's Daily Democrat is a six-day morning broadsheet newspaper published in Dover, New Hampshire, USA, covering southeast New Hampshire and southwest Maine...

to become Governor
Governor of New Hampshire
The Governor of the State of New Hampshire is the supreme executive magistrate of the U.S. state of New Hampshire.The governor is elected at the biennial state general election in November of even-numbered years. New Hampshire is one of only two states, along with bordering Vermont, to hold...

 John Lynch's press secretary
Press secretary
A press secretary or press officer is a senior advisor who provides advice on how to deal with the news media and, using news management techniques, helps their employer to maintain a positive public image and avoid negative media coverage....

. Foster's Daily Democrat also syndicates reports by Norma Love and Chris Dornin.

The Concord Monitor
Concord Monitor
The Concord Monitor is the daily newspaper for Concord, the state capital of New Hampshire. It also covers substantial portions of surrounding Merrimack and Belknap counties in New Hampshire's Lakes Region...

reports State House activities as the capital city's newspaper. Daniel Barrick, Lauren Dorgan and Margot Sanger-Katz all contribute reports after sessions of the House and Senate. Meg Heckman reports primarily on Elder issues but also reports on the State House. The "Capital Beat notebook" section of the Concord Monitor relays day-to-day coverage written by Sarah Liebowitz, Eric Moskowitz, and Chelsea Conaboy.

The State House opened in 1819. The House of Representatives continues to meet in its original chambers, making Representatives Hall the oldest chamber in United States still in continuous legislative use. When numbered seats were installed in Representatives Hall, the number thirteen was purposely omitted in deference to triskaidekaphobia
Triskaidekaphobia
Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number ; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.The term was first used by Isador Coriat in Abnormal...

.

The annual pay for legislators is set by law at $100.00, plus a per diem
Per diem
Per diem refers to a specific amount of money that an organization allows an individual to spend per day, to cover living and traveling expenses in connection with work...

for each day they attend.

External links