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First, let’s give a (very) brief overview of how our government works.

You have the state government and the federal/U.S. government. All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. For our purposes, we’re going to focus on the legislative branch.

Louisiana State Government

Legislators meet during session in Louisiana’s state capital, Baton Rouge. The state capitol (building) is located at 900 N Third St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Helpful information about getting there, rules for entering, and attending committee meetings/hearings can be found here.

According to Louisiana’s state constitution, our legislative session is different on even and odd-numbered years.

  • In even-numbered years session begins on the last Monday in March and continues for no more than 60 legislative days during a period of 85 calendar days (usually ends in May/June).
  • In odd-numbered years session begins on the last Monday in April and continues for no more than 45 legislative days during a period of 60 calendar days (usually ends in June).
    • Bills filed during odd-numbered years are also limited to 5 non-fiscal bills (only 5 bills can relate to matters other than state budget, revenues, and appropriations).

Our state legislature (the legislative branch of our government) is made up of two “chambers” or “houses”:

  1. House of Representatives (referred to as the lower house)
    • legislators in this chamber are called Representatives
    • there are 105 representatives
  2. State Senate (referred to as the upper house)
    • legislators in this chamber are called Senators (or State Senators)
    • there are 39 senators

Each person has 1 state representative and 1 state senator that represents them. They are organized by districts based on where you live.


These are not to be confused with your federal or U.S. legislators. It can get a little confusing because the terminology sometimes overlaps, but bear with me.

Federal / U.S. Government

The U.S. legislature is called the United States Congress and meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Congress consists of two chambers as well:

  1. House of Representatives (referred to as the lower house)
    • a legislator in this chamber is called a U.S. Representative or Congressman/Congresswoman
    • there are 435 representatives
  2. Senate (referred to as the upper house)
    • a legislator in this chamber is called a Senator (or U.S. Senator)
    • there are 100 senators, 2 from each state

Each person has 1 U.S. Representative and 2 U.S. Senators that represents them. U.S. Representatives are organized by districts based on where you live while U.S. Senators represent their entire state.

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