New Hampshire General Court
|General Court of New Hampshire|
Senate Majority Leader
House Majority Leader
|November 4, 2014|
|November 4, 2014|
|New Hampshire State House|
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. The General Court has one of the greatest disparities in size between chambers of a bicameral legislature (representatives are 16 ⅔ times as numerous as senators).
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. However, in 2014 control of the House flipped once more to Republicans with a 238-160 majority. The General Court convenes in the New Hampshire State House in downtown Concord.
House of Representatives
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
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 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats in the Senate.
Composition of the Senate
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. When numbered seats were installed in Representatives Hall, the number thirteen was purposely omitted in deference to triskaidekaphobia.