New Hampshire General Court

New Hampshire General Court
General Court of New Hampshire
Coat of arms or logo
Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
President of the Senate Peter Bragdon, (R)
since December 1, 2010
Speaker of the House William L. O'Brien, (R)
since December 1, 2010
Members 424
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last election November 2, 2010
Meeting place
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. With 424 members, the General Court is the largest state legislature in the United States and the fourth-largest English-speaking legislative body in the world, behind the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of India, and the United States Congress.[1] The General Court has one of the greatest disparities in size between chambers of a bicameral legislature.[citation needed]

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 in downtown Concord, just off U.S. Route 3.


House of Representatives

Current percent of Representatives from each party by District

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 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 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 103 26%
  Republican Party 294 74%
  Vacant 3 0%
400 100%
195 +49%

New Hampshire Senate

New Hampshire Senate Districts for the 160th Session, with Republican seats in red and Democratic seats in blue.

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 5
  Republican Party 19

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 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 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.[citation needed] When numbered seats were installed in Representatives Hall, the number thirteen was purposely omitted in deference to triskaidekaphobia.

The annual pay for legislators is set by law at $100.00, plus a per diem for each day they attend.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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