New York State’s government is set up similarly to our national government. It’s housed in the State Capitol of Albany, has an executive, a bicameral legislature, and a judicial system. The Chief Executive is the Governor (as opposed to a president), and our legislature is also titled a bit differently than our national legislature.

NYS Assembly

Instead of a House of Representatives, we have the New York State Assembly. Like the House of Reps, our Assembly members’ districts are divided so that their vote is proportional to the number of people within the state. Each of the 150 districts has an average of 128,652 people in it. (There’s a painstaking process behind that number, most of which depends on the U.S. Census data compiled every 10 years.) The Assembly is considered the “lower house” of the legislature because each Assembly member has less of a proportional vote on issues than the State Senate. Each member is elected to a two-year term on even years (2008, 2010, etc.) with no term limits.

NYS Senate

Though it sounds confusing, the other house of our State Legislature is also called the Senate. Two U.S. Senators represent New York in Washington, D.C., and we have 62 State Senators who represent various parts of New York in Albany. Our State Constitution allows for a varying number of Senators, but we’re currently at 62. Each member is elected to two-year terms on even years with no limit on the number of years someone can serve.