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The Idaho Legislature held its first session in 1890 At that time the legislature was composed of 18 senators and 36 representatives The state constitution was amended so each county had at least one Senator and one Representative Currently reapportionment that occurs every 10 years determines the size of the Idaho Legislature Until 1968 the Legislature was only in session every two years In 1968 the Legislature shifted to annual sessions to meet more frequently to pass needed legislation and to prepare budgets that more closely suited the changing needs of state agencies According to Idaho state law each legislative session is to begin on the Monday closest to the ninth of January and to continue for 60 to 90 days however much deemed necessary until late March or early April The Governor may call a special legislative session but they are uncommon and rarely exceed a few days in length According to tradition Republican House members sit to the right of the podium facing the front and Democrats sit to the left In the Senate the majority party sits to the left and the minority party members sit to the right The most senior legislators are given first choice of seats on their partys designated side Another unique tradition of the Idaho Legislature is that of the black cloth crow If the House defeats a bill by an overwhelming margin the legislative sponsor is awarded the crow as a symbol of their legislative ineptness The crow must be tied to the microphone until it can be passed to another unsuccessful legislator This years session was unexpectedly delayed a week because President Pro Tem Jerry Twiggs died on the opening day thus creating a absence of leadership The Senate elected Robert T Geddes a Republican from Soda Springs as the new President Pro Tem The confusion because of the uncertain course of action for the legislature to follow resulted in a bill signed into
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