The Montana Constitution dictates that the legislature meet in regular session for no longer than 90 days in each odd-numbered year. The primary work of the legislature is to pass a balanced biennial budget which must then be approved by the Governor. If the Governor vetoes a bill, the legislature may override the veto by a two-thirds vote.
Since the beginning of statehood for Montana, the Legislature has been split along party lines fairly consistently and evenly. Since adoption of the current state constitution in 1972, which mandated single-member legislative districts for the first time in the state's history, the Montana Senate has been controlled by Democrats in nine sessions, and Republicans in 13 sessions. During the same period, the Montana House has been controlled by Democrats in eight sessions and Republicans in ten sessions with two ties. According to state law, in the instance of a tie, control goes to the party of the sitting Governor. The 65th Legislature (2017–2018) is controlled by the Republican Party with the House having 59 Republican members and 41 Democratic members, and the Senate having 32 Republican members and 18 Democratic members.
Members are limited to serving no more than eight years in either chamber but the term limit is consecutive not lifetime.
The Montana State Legislature meets in the state capital of Helena.
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