In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers comprise bills. Bicameralism is an essential and defining feature of the classical notion of mixed government. Bicameral legislatures tend to require a concurrent majority to pass legislation. A conference committee is appointed when the two chambers cannot agree on the same wording of a proposal that consists of a small number of legislators from each chamber. This tends to place much power in the hands of only a small number of legislators. Whatever legislation, if any, the conference committee finalizes must then be approved in an unamendable "take-it-or-leave-it" manner by both chambers.
The Founding Fathers of the United States favored a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wealthier and wiser. The Senate was created to be a stabilizing force, elected not by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what Madison saw as the “fickleness and passion” that could absorb the House. Figure 1
State legislators chose the Senate and senators had to possess a significant amount of property in order to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In fact, it was not until the year 1913 that the Seventeenth Amendment was passed, which "mandated that Senators would be elected by popular vote rather than chosen by the State legislatures.” As part of the Great Compromise, they invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the upper house would have states represented equally, and the lower house would have them represented by population.
During the 1930s, the Legislature of the State of Nebraska was reduced from bicameral to unicameral with the 43 members that once comprised that state's Senate. One of the arguments used to sell the idea at the time to Nebraska voters was that by adopting a unicameral system, the perceived evils of the conference committee process would be eliminated. During his term as Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura proposed converting the Minnesotan legislature to a single chamber with proportional representation, as a reform that he felt would solve many legislative difficulties and impinge upon legislative corruption. Ventura argued that bicameral legislatures for provincial and local areas were excessive and unnecessary, and discussed unicameralism as a reform that could address many legislative and budgetary problems for states.