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Maine state legislature

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Maine state legislature

Maine Legislature
Type
Type Bicameral
Leadership
President of the Senate Justin Alfond, (D)
Since December 3, 2012
Speaker of the House Mark Eves, (D)
Since December 3, 2012
Structure
Seats 189
35 senators
154 representatives
Senate Political groups
House of Representatives Political groups
Elections
Senate Last election November 6, 2012
Meeting place
Maine State House, Augusta
Website
http://janus.state.me.us/legis/

The Maine Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maine. It is a bicameral body composed of the lower house Maine House of Representatives and the upper house Maine Senate. The Legislature convenes at the State House in Augusta, where it has met since 1832.

The House of Representatives consists of 154 members, each chosen from single-member constituencies. The House is one of the few state legislative bodies in the U.S. to set aside special seats for Native Americans, where there are three nonvoting Representatives from the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and the Houlton Band of Maliseets. The Senate includes a varying number of members, which may under the Maine Constitution be 31, 33, or 35; the present number is 35.

Qualifications

In order to be a member of the Legislature, one must be at least 21 years of age, have to have been a citizen of the U.S for five years, have been a resident of Maine for one year, and for the 3 months next preceding the time of this person's election shall have been, and, during the period for which elected, continue to be, a resident in the district represented.

Elections

Legislative elections are held in November of every even-numbered year, during the state's general election. The terms for both houses are two years. Since 1996, members of both the House and Senate are limited to four two-year terms; this is a consecutive, rather than lifetime, limit. Members who have served the limit are re-eligible for election after two years.

Until 1880, the Legislature was elected for a one year term. Starting in 1881, an amendment to the Maine Constitution took effect to provide for two year terms, which remains the current length. [1]

Powers

As the legislative branch of the Maine state government, the Legislature has the power to make laws, subject to a veto by the Governor. The Legislature, however, by a vote of two-thirds in each house, may override the veto. The Legislature also has the power to propose constitutional amendments by a vote of two-thirds in each house; the proposal must be approved by a majority of voters in a referendum in order to be passed.

Unlike many states, the Legislature is responsible for electing the Attorney general, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State. Most states give this responsibility to gubernatorial appointments, or an election by the people at large.

See also

References

External links

  • Maine Legislature

Template:Maine State Senators Template:Maine House of Representatives

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