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Civics 101: Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes Tuesday

J. H. Osborne • Jan 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Tennessee's 111th General Assembly convened at noon on Jan. 8, 2019. It adjourned in December. The 111th General Assembly, second session will start at noon on Tuesday.

The General Assembly is made up of the Tennessee Senate and the Tennessee House of Representatives.

The Senate

• The state is divided into 33 senatorial districts, from each of which one senator is elected.

• Senators are elected to four-year terms with those from even-numbered districts being elected in the same general election and those representing odd-numbered districts being elected two years later.

• That means about half of the 33 senators are standing for election in any given election cycle.

• Re-election to the Senate is constitutionally permissible, as it is in the House, and there is no limit on the number of terms a legislator may serve.

• To qualify for election to the Senate, one must be 30 years old, a U.S. citizen, a state resident for three years and a resident of the district in which he or she is elected for one year immediately preceding his election.

• The partisan makeup of the Senate of the 111th General Assembly is 28 Republicans and five Democrats.

The House of Representatives

• The state is divided into 99 House districts from each of which one representative is elected.

• Representatives are elected to two-year terms with all representatives standing for election each election cycle.

• This is consistent with the practice in all other states with the exceptions of Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland and Mississippi, which allow representatives to serve four-year terms.

• To qualify for election to the House, one must be 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, a state resident for three years and a resident of the county in which he or she is elected for one year immediately preceding the election.

• The partisan makeup of the House of the 111th General Assembly is 73 Republicans and 26 Democrats.

Source: Tennessee General Assembly

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