Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett


 
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Legislative Branch
Legislature

Arizona House of Representatives / Arizona Senate

History

Background

The Arizona Constitution, Article 4, Part 2 § 2 lists the requirements to be a member of the state Legislature. "No person shall be a member of the Legislature unless he shall be a citizen of the United States at the time of his election, nor unless he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and shall have been a resident of Arizona at least three years and of the county from which he is elected at least one year before his election."

Article 4, Part 2 § 4. Disqualification for membership in Legislature Section 4. No person holding any public office of profit or trust under the authority of the United States, or of this state, shall be a member of the legislature; Provided, that appointments in the state militia and the offices of notary public, justice of the peace, United States commissioner, and postmaster of the fourth class, shall not work disqualification for membership within the meaning of this section.

Article 4, Part 2 § 5. Ineligibility of members of legislature to other public offices Section 5. No member of the legislature, during the term for which he shall have been elected or appointed shall be eligible to hold any other office or be otherwise employed by the state of Arizona or, any county or incorporated city or town thereof. This prohibition shall not extend to the office of school trustee, nor to employment as a teacher or instructor in the public school system.

Duties

From the Arizona Legislative Manual - The Legislative Function (2003 edition)

The Legislature is a permanent organization established to enact state laws and perform other duties that are appropriate to the legislative branch of government. The lawmaking function is certainly its most visible activity, performed annually in formal regular and special sessions. The Legislature is organized specifically for deliberating issues of public concern and resolving problem areas and conflicts among competing proposals and interested parties. The system of committees and multiple stages and forums for hearings and debate is designed to provide the opportunity for a thorough consideration of proposals before they can affect the public as new laws, as changed or amended laws or as repealed laws.

Aside from lawmaking, however, the Legislature performs several additional important functions that allow state government to operate in a normal productive manner. In a pure or direct democratic political system laws would be made by the mass citizenry, but because of practical problems with having all citizens participate in making complex and time-consuming determinations, citizens elect their representative legislators to make policy decisions. To ensure that their representatives adequately reflect the composition of the citizenry, the State Constitution requires the Legislature to provide for a system of conducting elections to select major federal, state and local officials, and to revise congressional and legislative electoral boundaries every ten years in the reapportionment process.

Term Limits of Legislators

Article 4, Part 2 § 21. Term limits of members of state legislature Section 21. The members of the first legislature shall hold office until the first Monday in January, 1913. The terms of office of the members of succeeding legislatures shall be two years. No state senator shall serve more than four consecutive terms in that office, nor shall any state representative serve more than four consecutive terms in that office. This limitation on the number of terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. No legislator, after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the same office until he has been out of office for no less than one full term.