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West Virginia's state government is divided into
, the branch which
enforces the laws; the
, the branch which interprets the laws; and the
branch which makes the laws.
West Virginia's Legislature is known as a
legislature, which means there are two bodies
- the Senate and the House of Delegates. West Virginia also has the two party system: the
Party and the
West Virginia's Legislature is composed of West Virginia citizens. Lawmakers are elected by the voters
in their district, or area, to represent them in the lawmaking process.
has 34 members and are elected to four-year terms with half of the membership up for
election every two years. The
is composed of 100 members with all the membership up
for election every two years.
Both the Senate and the House have presiding officers. In the Senate, that officer is the
, who is first in the line of succession to the Governor's Office. In other words, if for any
reason the Governor must resign or becomes unable to fulfill his or her duties, this person would become
The presiding officer in the House of Delegates is the
, and he/she is second
in the line of succession to the Governor's Office. Both of these leaders are elected by the membership
of their respective bodies. In addition to maintaining order during the floor sessions, the Speaker and
the President also select the
for each of the committees and refer bills to the
There are other officers who are appointed by either the Speaker or the President. The
help promote the party's position on issues, however, the majority
leader plays a more visible role.
In the event that the Speaker or President is absent, there is an appointed substitute. Their title is
Speaker or President
The party with the least number of members is known as the
. It has both a leader
and a whip who perform the same duties as the Majority Leader and Whip. Both of these leaders are
elected by the members of the minority party.
Another officer who is elected by the legislative membership, but is not elected by the voters, is the
, who is the chief administrative officer for either the House or Senate. The Clerk numbers and
files the bills for introduction. The Clerk places the bills that are to be introduced on a daily calendar.
Both the Senate and House have their own clerk, with each elected by their respective body.