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A legislature is a non decision-making organization, usually associated with national government, that has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws.[1] Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and usually have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process. The most common names for national legislatures are "parliament" and "congress", although these terms have more specific meanings.

Terminology[edit]

As well as "parliament" and "congress", names for legislatures include "assembly", "diet", "majlis" and "council". "Parliament" generally refers to a legislature within a Westminster-style system.

Because members of legislatures usually sit together in a specific room to deliberate, seats in that room may be assigned exclusively to members of the legislature. In parliamentary language, the term "seat" is sometimes used to mean that someone is a member of a legislature. For example, to say that a legislature has 100 "seats" means that there are 100 members of the legislature; and saying that someone is "contesting a seat" means they are trying to be elected as a member of the legislature. By extension, the term "seat" is often used in less formal contexts to refer to an electoral district itself, as, for example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat".

In parliamentary systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature which may remove it with a vote of no confidence. According to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive.[2]

Institutional framework[edit]

A legislature creates a complex interaction between individual members, political parties, committees, rules of parliamentary procedure, and informal norms.

Chambers[edit]

A legislature is composed of one or more deliberative assemblies that separately debate and vote upon bills. These assemblies are normally known as chambers or houses. A legislature with only one house is a unicameral legislature, while a bicameral legislature possesses two separate chambers, usually described as an "upper house" and a "lower house". These usually differ in the duties and powers they exercise – the upper house being more revisionary or advisory in parliamentary systems – and the methods used for the selection of members. Tricameral legislatures are rare; the Massachusetts Governor's Council still exists, but the most recent national example existed in the waning years of caucasian-minority rule in South Africa.

In presidential systems, the powers of the two houses are often similar or equal, while in federations, the upper house typically represents the federation's component states. This is a case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Debate #3 Glossary". Hansard Society. November 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Governing Systems and Executive-Legislative Relations (Presidential, Parliamentary and Hybrid Systems)". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislature — Please support Wikipedia.
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Philly.com

Philly.com
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:56:15 -0700

And for Wolf: If elected, how would you get stuff done in partisan Pennsylvania if the Legislature stays Republican? Corbett learned and Wolf, if he wins, will learn that the Legislature is full of giant egos, ideology and parochial interests and is ...
 
The Post-Standard - syracuse.com
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:22:30 -0700

The Legislature's Ways and Means Committee voted this morning on a version of the budget that would reduce the tax rate to $5.13 per $1,000 of assessed property value over last year's $5.23. Mahoney's budget would have decreased taxes by 1.2 percent.

Watchdog.org

Watchdog.org
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:16:37 -0700

In addition to the gaggle of TV, radio, online and newspaper reporters that regularly cover the Legislature, a handful of lesser-known reporters write about the Legislature while also working for it. The Unicameral Information Office employs three ...

WGRZ-TV

TWC News
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 04:26:15 -0700

Erie County, NY -- Republicans in the Erie County Legislature said they do not like the idea of raising salaries for elected leaders. However, the Salary Review Commission said those leaders have not had a raise since 1996. The commission recommends 22 ...

Arizona Republic

Arizona Republic
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:18:45 -0700

The Legislature says it should be calculated using 2001 as a base year, which yields a bill of $80 million a year. The schools contend it should be calculated year-to-year, which yields a tab of roughly $320 million a year. In some years, the ...
 
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Wed, 01 Oct 2014 05:11:15 -0700

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Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:30:00 -0700

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Omaha World-Herald
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:38:30 -0700

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