Seating Plans as Varied as the States.

There appears to be no consensus on how to seat lawmakers in their chambers--by party, by mixing them up or by some other means. A little more than half the states seat legislators by party, according to an informal survey and NCSL report, from 2018.

* Several states have unusual arrangements that members regard as promoting personal relationships and bipartisanship. In the Connecticut and Massachusetts senates, seating is in the round, so members can see each other. In addition, Connecticut's senators are seated by district number, not by party.

"It may not change the way we vote, but it probably helps to increase civility and may help deflect partisanship a bit," said one senator.

* In Alabama, the chair of the Internal Affairs Committee determines desk assignments, with the speaker traditionally having control over the eight desks surrounding the well, says Jeff Woodard, clerk of the Alabama House. There is no set seating plan. Seniority, leadership status and geographic location of members' districts are considered, but a lot of the...

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