The Montana Constitution dictates that the legislature meet in regular session for no longer than 90 days in each odd-numbered year. The primary work of the legislature is to pass a balanced biennial budget which must then be approved by the Governor.
Since the beginning of statehood for Montana, the Legislature has been split along party lines fairly consistently and evenly. Since adoption of the current state constitution in 1972, which mandated single-member legislative districts for the first time in the state's history, the Montana Senate has been controlled by Democrats in 9 sessions, and Republicans in 10 sessions. During the same period, the Montana House has been controlled by Democrats in 8 sessions and Republicans in 9 sessions with two ties. According to state law, in the instance of a tie, control goes to the party of the sitting Governor. The 62nd Legislature (2011-2012) is controlled by the Republican Party with the House having 68 Republican members and 32 Democratic members, and the Senate having 28 Republican members and 22 Democratic members..
Members are limited to serving no more than 8 years in either chamber but the term limit is consecutive not lifetime.
The Montana State Legislature meets in the state capital of Helena.