Making State Laws
"I went to the State House
up on a hill
I made up a bill
and it came our a law."
The chambers of the House and Senate are where the
men and women who represent you meet to make the laws for all the citizens
There are forty senators. They are elected every two years. Their leader
is the Senate president.
The House of Representatives is much larger -- but not as large as it used
to be. Today, there are 160 representatives -- in 1812, there were 749!
Their leader is called the Speaker of the House.
Together, the House and Senate are called the General Court.
Of course, making a law is harder than this. But Massachusetts is a special
state. Every person here has what is called the Right to Free Petition.
This means that anyone who thinks the state needs a new law can take his
or her idea to a state senator or representative and ask them to present
it to the legislature. The idea is called a petition or bill. After many
discussions and meetings and votes, the bill can become a law.
"In the State House, the Senators and Representatives have their
offices, hold meetings, and think about people's comments, advice, and questions.
Then they vote on bills. When the governor signs them, they become the laws
we live by. Everyone needs special rules to live by or else we would have
many problems now. We should be glad that here we make and choose our own
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