The legislative branch, otherwise known as a legislature, is a very important branch of the government that has the power to legislate, or in simpler terms, the legislative branch has the power to make laws as well as appropriate funds.
The legislative branch is a feature of many governments all over the world, and in the United States, the House of Representatives and Senate, plus various support agencies such as the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Budget Office and the Library of Congress, are all part of the US legislative branch.
What does the legislative branch do with laws?
The members of the legislative branch have a lot of power. They are able to pass new laws as well as amend and repeal existing laws. New laws created by the legislative branch of government are known as legislation or statutory laws. Legislation is written law as opposed to oral or common law.
In the United States, the legislative branch of government writes the bills, which are then sent to a senator and on to the House of Representatives. In the US, there are one hundred senators and four hundred and thirty five representatives and when they meet, it is known as Congress. Any bill written by the legislative branch must pass through Congress before it eventually reaches the President, who then has the power to either veto the bill, or sign it into law.
What does the legislative branch do in government?
Legislative branches can be found in different types of government, but in a parliamentary system of government, the legislative branch appoints a member from the house to act as executive leader, or Prime Minister (as seen in the United Kingdom). In a presidential system, for example in the United States, the legislative branch exists along with the judiciary and executive branches as an independent and coequal branch of the government.
Legislative branches usually have more than one house or chamber. These are the assemblies who decide which bills are passed. A legislative branch with only one house is a unicameral; a legislature with two houses is called a bicameral (for example the United Kingdom’s parliament); and more rarely, a legislative branch with three houses is called a tricameral.
In the United Kingdom’s government, the two houses of the legislative branch have different powers. The lower house is more powerful whereas the upper house offers advice or reviews any decisions subsequently made. In the United States presidential system of government, the two branches of the legislature have equal amounts of power.
The individual states are normally represented by the upper house and can either contain delegates of state, or be elected in accordance with a formula that grants equal representation to smaller states (for example in the United States and Australia).
An elected member of the legislature is said to have a “seat”. Seats in the legislature can be contested, which means that other people can try to gain a seat via an election process.