By the numbers in the General Assembly

Robert Houk • Jan 19, 2019 at 7:06 PM

Let’s talk numbers.

We have just begun the 111th session of the Tennessee General Assembly, of which there are 132 members.

That breaks down to 99 members in the House of Representatives and 33 members of the Senate. House members are elected to serve two years. Senators are elected to four-year terms.

Each session of the General Assembly is comprised of two years, which typically go from January to May (often ending much earlier, particularly in election years). State lawmakers earn an annual salary of $22,667, as well as a per diem of $229.

Tennessee lawmakers are paid for 90 working days a session.

Republicans hold what is called a “supermajority” in the General Assembly. That means the GOP doesn’t need or require votes from members of other parties to get legislation passed on Capitol Hill.

There are a total of 99 Republicans now serving in the two chambers of the General Assembly.

There are only four Democrats serving in the Tennessee Senate. Those members largely represent areas in or near Memphis and Nashville.

There is also one independent in the Senate. Former state Sen. Rosalind Kurita of Clarksville was appointed this week to fill a vacancy created when Mark Green, a Republican, was elected to Congress.

Kurita previously served in the state Senate as a Democrat, but was shunned by the party when she voted for former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, to be Senate speaker in 2007.

She is now one of seven women serving in the state Senate.

There are nine standing committees in the Senate. There are 14 committees in the House.

To be be a candidate for the Senate, a person has to be at least 30 years old, a three-year resident of Tennessee and live in a county inside the Senate district they are seeking for at least one year.

There are 26 Democrats in the House. They also mainly represent in heavily populated urban areas near Memphis, Chattanooga and Nashville.

There are 12 women serving in the state House. Of that number, eight are Republicans.

To qualify to run for the House in Tennessee, a candidate must be at least 21 years old, a resident of Tennessee for three years and a resident of a county within the House district for one year.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, is the longest-serving member of the General Assembly. He began his 41-year legislative career in Nashville as a member of the House of Representatives in 1978.

State Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, is second in seniority in the Senate. He was first elected to the 3rd District seat in 1990.

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