a deliberative body of persons, usually elective, who are empowered to make, change, or repeal the laws of a country or state; the branch of government having the power to make laws, as distinguished from the executive and judicial branches of government.

1670–80; legislat(or) + -ure

sublegislature, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
legislature (ˈlɛdʒɪsˌleɪtʃə)
executive Compare judiciary a body of persons vested with power to make, amend, and repeal laws

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1670s, ult. from L. legis lator "a proposer of a law" (see legislator).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
So there's a bit of disagreement between some state legislatures and the
  scientific community.
For evolution, the report points out that eight anti-evolution bills were
  introduced in six state legislatures last year.
The far right has learned not to tangle with educated people in the courts or
  even in state legislatures, by and large.
Phil's post is about political actors manipulating state legislatures to try
  and push a scientific agenda, by fiat.
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