Legislative Branch of Government
Rules and Committees, adopted separately by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, when the General Assembly meets in Session, serve as a code governing the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively, and their committees.
New Rules may be adopted at the beginning of each Session
Terms and Qualifications
A STATE SENATOR must:
Senators are elected for four-year terms, with half the Senate elected every two years.
A STATE REPRESENTATIVE must:
Representatives are elected for two-year terms in November following the regular session of the General Assembly. The entire House is elected at the same time.
The President and the President Pro Tem are elected by the full membership of that body.
House of Representatives
The Speaker of the House and the Speaker Pro Tem are elected by the full membership of that body.
Legislative Party Leaders - Senate and House
Floor leaders, Caucus chairs and Whips - are selected by Democratic and Republican caucuses in both chambers during the organizational portion of the odd year session. These members are responsible for seeing that the interests of their parties are well served.
Legislative Support Staff
Interims between sessions
The General Assembly is organized into standing committees with different jurisdictions during regular session. The work of standing committees concludes when the regular session is adjourned.
The period of time from that adjournment to the convening of the next regular session is known as the Interim. In an Interim (June to December), the work of the General Assembly is accomplished in committees. Committees active between sessions may be two types:
All committees which meet during the Interim may discuss issues, prefile bills, and forward recommendations to the LRC and the General Assembly. All committee meetings are open to the public and the press. More committee information.
Statutory committees that are authorized by the Kentucky Revised Statutes or function as subcommittees of the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) may meet year round. The Government Contract Review Committee, for example, is authorized by statute to examine the contracts let by state government agencies to non-governmental entities.
How A Bill Becomes Law
Introduction and Committee Referral:
Second Reading and then to Rules:
Third Reading and Passage:
What Happens Next?
Tracing Legislative HistoryStep 1
Your legislative history research should begin with a Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) number. For example:
Go to the history portion at the end of the statute and find the Kentucky Acts chapter and year:
Go to the Kentucky Acts to identify the bill's sponsor and locate the Senate or House bill number at the chapter heading.
Use the Final Legislative Record to find the legislative committee(s) to which the bill was assigned.
Check with the Legislative Research Commission library to see if the committee minutes were taped during the session. *
Audiotapes may be copied for $5.00 each or you may listen to them in the library.
The LRC Public Information Office may have a video of the committee meeting.
Committee minutes may reflect the names of people who discussed a bill and the votes taken on the bill.
These are available in the Legislative Research Commission library.
House and Senate Journals can then be used to trace the action of the bill on chamber floors. These journals will show votes, amendments, and floor action on the bill.
* Senate and House committee hearing audiotapes are made at the discretion of the committee chairman. These tapes are not transcribed. Videotapes are made of the floor sessions by Kentucky Educational Television. Videotapes, beginning with the 1992 regular session, may be viewed in the Legislative Research Commission library, or purchased for $10/tape.
Click here for Legislative Research Commission Library information available in support of your research.