The state is divided into 49 legislative districts, each home to approximately 35,000 people. Senators are elected to four-year terms and receive a salary of $12,000 a year.
A single Legislature exists for two years, called a biennium. There are two regular lawmaking sessions per biennium. Each regular session begins in January.
The biennium begins in odd-numbered years with a long session that consists of 90 working days. A shorter session is held in even-numbered years and consists of 60 working days. Long sessions usually last until mid-June, and short sessions usually last until mid-April. At the call of the governor, special sessions also may be held.
During session, a typical day for a senator could include a meeting over breakfast, a working lunch, visits with constituents, committee hearings, research, floor debate and conferences.
Senators also have obligations during the interim, including contacting constituents, conducting interim studies with committees, and developing and researching bills they plan to sponsor in the upcoming session.