Explore Your State Government

There are 3 branches of Indiana's state government: The legislature, judiciary and executive.   The legislature, known as the General Assembly, is bicameral, meaning it is divided into two separate houses.  The lower house is known as the Indiana House of Representatives and is composed of 100 members elected to two-year terms.  The upper house is the Indiana Senate, which is composed of 50 members elected to four-year terms.  The legislature is part-time and only meets for a few weeks every year.  The Indiana General Assembly is known as a citizen legislature because most members have full-time occupations outside of state government. 

The judicial branch is headed by the 5 justices of the Indiana Supreme Court.  Legal matters that are not resolved or are appealed from lower courts may end up before the Supreme Court.  When there is an opening on the Court, the Governor chooses between three candidates that are chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission.  Justices serve 10 year terms but are required to win a retention election after two years on the bench.

The Governor is the chief executive of the state of Indiana.  Governors are elected to 4-year terms and can only serve 8 out of every 21 years.  The Governor oversees the everyday management of many state agencies and is able to veto legislation that is passed by the General Assembly.