House of Representatives

House Chamber, State Capitol

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the Tennessee legislature. One representative is elected from each of the state’s 99 House districts. Representatives are elected to 2 year terms with all representatives up for election every even numbered year. All but 4 states have 2 year terms for their representatives.

In order to run for the House, one must be 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, a Tennessee resident for three years, and a resident of the district for at least one year immediately before the election.

The House differs from the Senate with certain non-lawmaking powers. The House has the sole power to start impeachment proceedings against public officials who are then brought before the Senate for trial. In this event, the House elects three of its own members to prosecute the case before the Senate. 

For more information about the State House of Representatives, click here.

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Leadership Positions

Speaker of the House

The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the House. Additionally, the speaker is second in line of succession to the governorship. Like the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House has many responsibilities including appointing officers and members of all House committees, members and chair of certain committees, and more.

Speaker Pro Tempore of the House

During the organizational session of the General Assembly, house members elected a representative to serve as speaker pro tempore for a two-year term. The speaker pro tempore acts during the absence of the Speaker of the House. In the event of an interim vacancy or a disability of the speaker, the speaker pro tempore conduct the necessary business of the House until an election can be held to fill the vacancy.

Deputy Speaker of the House

The deputy speaker is appointed to a two-year term by the Speaker of the House. The deputy speaker helps to schedule and guide the flow of legislation on the floor. They also assist the speaker in the administrative decisions in the House and serves as a liaison to local and national legislatures.

Majority/Minority Leader

The leaders of the House are the chief spokespeople for their respective parties. Two leaders are elected by their caucuses for a two-year term (one for the Republican Party and one for the Democratic Party). The leaders rally support for legislation in the House and work closely with the Senate leadership to develop political strategy. The leaders speak on important issues before the House and in meetings with both parties.

Caucus Chairs (Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer

The House caucus chairs preside at House caucus meetings. Two chairs are elected: one for the Republican Party and one for the Democratic Party. The caucus chairs attend leadership meetings of the House. The chairs also work closely with party leaders and members to present a unified policy on legislative matters and determine strategy on key issues.

 

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