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Indiana’s state legislature is made up of a 100-member House of Representatives and a 50-member Senate; together, the House and Senate are known as the General Assembly. These individuals are responsible for enacting laws that cover a wide range of topics including infrastructure, education, environment, criminal matters, public health and other important topics impacting daily life for Indiana residents.
The Indiana House and Senate each have their own chambers on the third floor of the Statehouse, which is located at 200 W. Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis. Various legislative committee rooms are located on other floors throughout the capitol building.
The Indiana General Assembly meets for four months in odd-numbered years and for two-and-a-half months in even-numbered years. Legislative sessions begin in early January.
The 150 members of the General Assembly are elected by the citizens of their home district. Every two years, all 100 representatives are elected to serve a two-year term. Senators are elected to four-year terms; these terms are staggered so only half of the 50 senators are elected every two years.
In order to hold a seat in the General Assembly, a person must meet certain qualifications. You must be:
- A citizen of the United States;
- A resident of Indiana for at least two years;
- A resident of your legislative district for at least one year;
- At least 21 years of age to serve in the House; or
- At least 25 years of age to serve in the Senate.
The easiest way to learn who your state representative and state senator are is to visit the Find My Representative tool on the Indiana General Assembly website. The site will also list those who represent you in the U.S. Congress.
Postal mail can be addressed to the Indiana House of Representatives, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
Nearly all meetings of the full Senate and House of Representatives—as well as their respective standing committees—are streamed live online. Links to these streams are centrally located on the Indiana General Assembly website. You can also click the ‘Watch Session Live’ button located in the right-hand corner of the IHDC homepage.
Standing committees are the workhorses of the Indiana House and Senate. During these sessions, the majority of the policy is developed and discussed among legislators. Generally speaking, members of the public are welcome to testify before these committees on the bills they are hearing. The chair of each committee will normally set forth any specific rules governing testimony.
A list of bills introduced during the current or most recent session of the Indiana General Assembly can be obtained by visiting the Indiana General Assembly website and clicking on the “Legislation” tab.
Among the details available for each piece of legislation listed on the Indiana General Assembly website is a list of the roll call votes taken as each bill moves through the legislative process.
While some proposals certainly travel a unique path, nearly all laws enacted in Indiana follow the same general procedure once they are introduced at the State Legislature in Indianapolis.
This procedure includes endorsement votes in at least two legislative committees and positive votes in both the 50-member Senate as well as the 100-member House of Representatives. Finally, the governor also plays a role in a bill’s final enactment by signing, or sometimes not signing, it into law.
View our one-page summary of “How a Bill Becomes a Law.”
A great deal of information is available on the Indiana General Assembly website, including:
- Convening times for the Indiana House and Senate;
- Meeting times and locations for the standing committees of the Indiana General Assembly;
- Indiana’s current state laws; and
- Links to download many publications related to the legislature.
Yes. Two viewing galleries accessible via the fourth floor of the Statehouse provide public access to the House and Senate chambers. Seating is generally provided on a first-come, first-served basis. On rare occasions, these galleries are filled to capacity. Please note, the galleries are sometimes not open to the public during special circumstances such as the governor’s annual State of the State address.
No weapons of any kind are permitted to be carried by the public into the Statehouse. Visitors are required to enter the building at designated public entrances on the east, south and west sides of the building. The ground-level entrance on the west side of the building is a designated entry point for the physically challenged. A small “snack shop” is located on the first floor of the Statehouse.
Metered parking spots are located along the streets surrounding the Statehouse. For information on how to use ParkIndy’s on street meters, visit parkindy.net.