In the course of a year, the Landtag meets for about eight to ten sessions. Depending on the amount of work in hand, these last from one to three days. The sessions are usually public and are broadcast in full. There are also non-public sessions in which the Government communicates information that has to be handled confidentially or internal Parliamentary business or personnel matters have to be discussed. Laws and financial bills must be discussed and approved in public Landtag sessions.
The debates of the Landtag are recorded and a verbatim report is then prepared by the Parliamentary Service. In addition, reports of decisions are prepared which only contain the item on the agenda, the proposer(s) and the resolution. The verbal questions, known as Small Questions, are likewise included.
For a valid resolution of the Landtag, at least two-thirds of the Members (17) must be present. For an amendment of the Constitution, a unanimous vote is required or a three-quarters majority in two successive sessions. For all other resolutions of the Landtag, a simple majority of the Members present is sufficient.
The Members dispose of various instruments for the submission of motions or for exercising their control functions. Parliamentary submissions have to be made to the President in the written form and are then automatically placed on the agenda of the next or next but one session of the Landtag.
An initiative is a legislative proposal in the form of a full draft. Parliamentary initiatives are dealt with like bills of the Government.
By a motion, the Government can be asked to prepare a law (or another resolution of the Landtag) and to submit a corresponding bill to the Landtag. A motion that is to be passed to the Government will indeed state the aim and the reasons for it; however, the Government is not obliged to follow the ideas of the authors of the motion. It is rather the case that it is free to prepare a bill according to its own ideas. If the authors of the motion want certain matters to be included, the motion must be formulated in such a manner that the Landtag Commission is given the instruction to elaborate a draft in the sense of the motion. At all events, it is the Landtag that decides whether a motion is to be passed on.
A postulate is a motion that invites the Government to examine a certain matter or to take a certain action. Postulates are to be answered within four sessions of the Landtag. A vote is likewise held on the transmission of a postulate to the Government.
Interpellations are questions to the Government in the written form. They are an important control instrument which can also be used by individual Members since they are transmitted to the Government without a vote. With an interpellation, Members can demand information in writing on every aspect of the State administration.
In addition to questions in writing, Members may ask oral questions at any session of the Landtag. These should be brief and are usually answered by the Government at the end of the same session by word of mouth.
Debate of matters on topical interest
The debate of matters on topical interest gives the parliamentary groups alternately the possibility of an important topic of national political importance (for example education, traffic) at relatively short notice to plenary for discussion. This debate has thus a significant information value to the public and is an important tool approach to collect policy-relevant topics closer to the citizens. In this debate neither applications nor decisions will be made. It takes maximum one hour.