The State Legislature
- The State Legislature is a vital part of India's federal system of government, responsible for making state laws, managing state finances, and overseeing the executive branch at the state level.
- Each Indian state and union territory with a legislative assembly has its own State Legislature.
Composition of the State Legislature
1. State Legislative Assembly
- Also known as the Vidhan Sabha.
- The lower house of the State Legislature.
- Comprises elected members known as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
- The number of seats in the legislative assembly varies from state to state based on population.
2. State Legislative Council (in Some States)
- Also known as the Vidhan Parishad.
- The upper house of the State Legislature.
- Not present in all states; its existence depends on the specific state's constitution.
- Members may include graduates, teachers, and members elected by Legislative Assembly members.
Functions and Powers
- The primary function is to make and amend state laws and statutes.
- Bills can be introduced and debated in both houses, and they become laws after being passed.
2. Financial Control
- Grants approval for state budgets, taxation, and government expenditures.
- Examines the state's financial policies and plans.
3. Oversight and Accountability
- Holds the executive branch, including the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, accountable.
- Conducts debates, questions, and discussions to scrutinize the government's actions.
- Represents the interests and concerns of the people of the state.
- MLAs and MLCs (Members of Legislative Council) voice the opinions of their constituents.
5. Passage of Bills
- Bills can be introduced in either house, but most financial and money bills must originate in the Legislative Assembly.
- After being passed by both houses, bills are sent to the Governor for assent.
Role of the Governor
- The Governor plays a crucial role in the functioning of the State Legislature.
- The Governor's assent is required for bills to become law, and they may exercise discretion in certain situations, such as when recommending President's Rule in the state.
Duration and Dissolution
- The State Legislative Assembly's term is five years, but it can be dissolved earlier by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- Elections must be held within six months of the assembly's dissolution.