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Massachusetts General Court

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The Massachusetts General Court (formally styled, The Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when this body also sat in judgement of judicial appeals cases. Before the adoption of the state constitution in 1780, it was called the "Great and General Court," but the official title was shortened by John Adams, author of the constitution, apparently in the name of republican simplicity. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the[Massachusetts House of Representatives, has 160 members. (Until 1978, it had 240 members[1]) The General Court was established in 1930 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony obtained a new charter. It meets in the Massachusetts State House in Boston, Massachusetts.

The current President of the Senate is Therese Murray, and the Speaker of the House is Salvatore DiMasi. Democrats hold super-majorities in both chambers.

State Senators and Representatives both serve two-year terms.[2]


  1. Where we Stand: Government: Legislature Massachusetts League of Women Voters. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
  2. Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Article LXXXII.