Oklahoma's bicameral Legislature is
composed of 48 members of the State Senate and 101 members of the
House of Representatives. Regular sessions of the Legislature convene
annually at noon on the first Monday in February. Regular sessions
must be adjourned by 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May every year.
In odd-numbered years, the regular session will also include one
day in January. The Legislature will meet at noon on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in January and will recess no later than
five p.m. on the same day to declare elections. Normally, the Legislature
is in session Monday through Thursday. Extraordinary sessions may
be called by the Governor or by the Legislature itself.
Legislatures are identified by consecutive
numbers. For example, the 1996 session was designated as the Second
Session, 45th Legislature; the 1997 session as the First Session,
46th Legislature; and the 1998 session as the Second Session, 46th
Each house of the Legislature organizes
independently to function during the legislative session. By
law, the Lieutenant Governor is president of the Senate, but
the role is limited to presiding over special sessions and casting
the deciding vote in case of a tie. The law also provides the
Senate will elect a President Pro Tempore and the House of Representatives
will elect a Speaker of the House. State Senators serve staggered
four-year terms. Senators in odd-numbered districts were elected
in 1996. Those in even-numbered districts were elected in 1994.
Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms
and are up every even-numbered year. State
Question 632, passed in 1990, limits legislators to 12
years total service. However, it applies to legislators elected after January
Legislators are paid $38,400 annually
and certain necessary expenses. The President Pro Tempore of the
State Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representative are
paid an additional $17,932 annually and the majority floor leaders
and the minority floor leaders of each house are paid an additional
$12,369 per year.
Each house considers four types of
legislation: bills, which can become law if passed by both houses
and signed by the Governor; joint resolutions, which have the force
and effect of law when passed by both houses, but which may not
become part of the statutes; concurrent resolutions, which express
the will of both houses; and simple resolutions, which express the
will of the house of origin. Legislation which originates in the
Senate is numbered consecutively beginning with "1" and legislation
which originates in the House is numbered consecutively beginning
The Legislature occupies the third,
fourth, and fifth floors of the State Capitol. The Senate is on
the east side of the rotunda and the House of Representatives is
on the west side. Joint sessions are held in the House Chambers.
Chambers for both houses are on the fourth floor, with visitors'
galleries on the fifth floor. The telephone number for the Senate
is: (405) 524-0126; for the House of Representatives: (405) 521-2711.
The information on this
page was taken, with permission, from the "Oklahoma
Oklahoma Department of Libraries.