Kentucky General Assembly

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State Capitol Building in Frankfort, KY

The Kentucky General Assembly is the legislative body in the state of Kentucky. The General Assembly meets annually beginning the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of January. In even-numbered years the sessions may not exceed 60 legislative and must end by April 15. In odd-numbered years the sessions may not exceed 30 legislative days and must be finished by March 30. The state governor has the power to call special sessions anytime for any duration. [1]


Legislature in Session

Kentucky was granted statehood June 1, 1792 and five days later, June 6, the first meeting of the General Assembly occurred in Lexington, Kentucky. Among the priorities for the first meeting was establishing a revenue source which consisted of livestock, slave, and sin taxes. [2] One of the most important discussions centered around what state capitol would be. Lexington served as the immediate state capitol however Frankfort became the permanent seat of the Kentucky legislature shortly after the first meeting of the General Assembly.


The Kentucky legislature operates with a bicameral system. It is separated in the upper-house (the Senate) and the lower (the House of Representatives). In sections 33 and 35 of the Kentucky Constitution, the legislature is charged with dividing the state into 38 senate districts and 100 representative districts. These districts must be as close together in terms of population as is possible in order to facilitate equal representation. The districts are evaluated every ten years to assess how evenly distributed they are and adjustments are made as necessary. [3] [4]


The Kentucky Senate is the upper house of the state legislature and is comprised of 38 members. The Senate is responsible for electing the President of the Senate who presides over the senate and also becomes acting governor in the event that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor die, resign, or are removed from office. Up until 1993, the Lieutenant Governor acted as the President of the Senate. Senators serve four year terms which are staggered so that half the senate is elected every two years. In order to be eligible for election to the senate, candidates must:[5]

  • Be a citizen of Kentucky
  • Be at least 30 years of age
  • Resided in Kentucky for at least 6 years
  • Resided in their district for at least 1 year

House of Representatives

The Kentucky House of Representatives serves as the lower house in the state legislature. Its members serve two year terms. The House of Representatives are responsible for introducing any revenue related bill to the legislature. The stipulations for an individual seeking office in the House of Representative are they must:

  • Be a citizen of Kentucky
  • Be at least 24 years of age
  • Have resided in state for at least 2 years
  • Have lived in the district for at least 1 year

How a bill becomes law in Kentucky

How a bill becomes law in Ky.PNG

Legislation of Note

Proposed Legislation

Rep. Derrick Graham proposed a state wide ban on novelty cigarette lighters.

See Also



  1. Wikipedia's General Assembly article
  2. Kentucky Historical Society Legislative History
  3. Kentucky Constitution Section 33
  4. Kentucky Constitution Section 35
  5. Kentucky Constitution Section 32
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