Legislative Analysis Division

Karen Cochrane-Brown, Director
Legislative Analysis Division FAQs
What is the composition of the General Assembly?
The North Carolina General Assembly is composed of two bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives consists of 120 members. The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the House of Representative. The Senate consists of 50 members. The Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Senate.
What is a session of the Legislature?
There are four possible things people are referring to when they refer to the legislative session.
  • First is the biennial session that begins in an odd-numbered year. Members of the General Assembly are elected in even-numbered years; their two-year terms of office begin on January 1 of the year following the election. The North Carolina General Assembly convenes "at 12:00 noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January next after their election." The 2009-2010 biennial session of the General Assembly convened on January 28, 2009.
  • Second is the regular session, which begins on the day the legislature convenes and ends on the day it adjourns for the year.
  • Daily sessions, which adjourn each day, are any time the House or Senate meet on the floor of their respective chambers. At such times, both bodies are referred to as "in session."
  • Finally, a special session is one called by the governor at a time other than a regularly scheduled session. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may convene the General Assembly in extra session by their joint proclamation.
What is adjournment sine die?
Literally, the words mean "without a day." Adjournment without setting a definite date for meeting again is called adjournment sine die. It signifies the end of the biennial legislative session.
What does the underlining and strikethrough in bill and amendment text mean?
Underlined and strikethrough text indicate changes being made to the text of existing law or an existing constitutional provision. Underlined text is new language and strikethrough text indicates text being removed from existing law.
Where can I go for "Help"?
Attorneys in the Legislative Analysis Division cannot give legal advice or assistance to the public. If you have a problem or question related to the operations of a state or local agency, you may contact the office of your elected Senator or Representative. Click here to go to the Legislative Library's list of Lawyer Referral & Legal Aid resources.
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