With a spate of retirements this year, the next session of the Massachusetts Legislature will feature a number of new faces. Democrats have a large majority in both the House and Senate, and this fall's elections are unlikely to change the balance of power significantly. But Republicans have targeted a host of races they believe they can win, and the party could succeed in altering the dynamic on Beacon Hill if they gain several seats.
Both senators and representatives are elected every two years; the Senate has 40 members and the House, 160. Each branch elects its own leader from its membership.