The Constitution provides for a legislature of each State. Some States have bicameral legislatures. The upper house is called the Legislative Council and the lower house Legislative Assembly.
Total membership of a Legislative Assembly varies in each State according to its population. Generally one member represents 75,000 people and no Legislative Assembly can have more than 500 or less than 60 members. The life of the Assembly is five years unless dissolved earlier.
The Qualifications of Member for the State Legislature are: (a) he must be citizen of India; (b) not less than 25 years of age in case of the Legislative Assembly and not less than 30 years of age in case of the Legislative Council; (c) other qualifications as prescribed by the law made by Parliament from time to time.
Legislative Council: The strength of the Legislative Council should not exceed one-third of the Legislative Assembly subject to a minimum of forty members. One-third of its members are to be elected by Municipalities, Local bodies, etc. One-twelfth by registered graduates, one- twelfth by teachers in higher secondary schools or places of higher education, one-third by the Legislative Assembly from outside their own members and remaining one-sixth are to be nominated by the Governor. A Legislative Council is a permanent body and one-third of its members retire after every two years.
Speaker of Legislative Assembly
The speaker is elected from the members of the Legislative Assembly. He presides over the meetings and is responsible for conducting the business of the house smoothly.
The term of office of speaker is connected with the tenure of the Legislature Assembly. Even if the Assembly stands dissolved, he remains in his office till the first meeting of the next Legislative Assembly. However, he can be removed by absolute majority of the Legislative Assembly.
Powers and Functions of the Speaker
(i) He presides over the House and conducts its meetings.
(if) He maintains discipline in the house. He has the right to punish the members for breaking discipline. He may expel them or suspend them.
(iii) He asks the members to vote as and when necessary and announces the result.
(iv) He is authorized to certify the money bills.
(v) He sends the bills forward i.e. to the Governor or to the Legislative Council after being passed by the house.