Connecticut State Senate

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Connecticut State Senate

Connecticut State Senate Seal.gif
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   February 5, 2014
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Nancy Wyman (D)
Majority Leader:   Martin Looney (D)
Minority leader:   John McKinney (R)
Structure
Members:  36
  
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art III, Section 1, Connecticut Constitution
Salary:   $28,000/year
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (36 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (36 seats)
Redistricting:  Legislature controls with optional Commission appointed by Legislature
Meeting place:
Connecticutsenate.png
The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature of Connecticut. It includes 36 members who each represent a district that includes an average of 99,280 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 94,599 residents.[2]

Senators are elected to two-year terms without term limits.[3]

As of August 2014, Connecticut is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

See also: Connecticut State Legislature, Connecticut House of Representatives, Connecticut Governor

Sessions

Article III of the Connecticut Constitution establishes when the Connecticut State Legislature, which the Senate is a part of, is to be in session. Section 2 of Article III states that, in odd-numbered years, the Legislature shall convene its regular session on the Wednesday after the first Monday in January. Section 2 requires regular sessions in odd-numbered years to adjourn by the Wednesday after the first Monday in June.

The Constitution does not establish when the Legislature is supposed to meet in even-numbered years, so these dates are established by law. In even-numbered years, the Legislature convenes on the Wednesday following the first Monday in February, pending the decision of the Legislature, and it must adjourn by the Wednesday after the first Monday in May.[4]

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 5 to May 7.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included the biennial state budget, gun control, mental health, police training and creating the Office of Early Childhood.[5]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 9 through June 5.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included restrictions on gun ownership, an increase to the minimum wage, labels on genetically modified foods, and the ability for illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.[6]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from February 8 to May 9.

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5 through June 8. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy convened both houses in a special session to address budget cuts on June 30.[7]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from February 3rd to May 5th.

Role in state budget

See also: Connecticut state budget

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[8][9]

  1. Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in July.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September.
  3. Agency hearings are held in January.
  4. Public hearings are held from February through June.
  5. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
  6. The legislature adopts a budget in May or June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

In Connecticut, the governor may exercise line item veto or item veto of appropriations authority.[9]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget. Likewise, the legislature must adopt a balanced budget.[9]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Connecticut was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.[10]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: Following the Money 2014 Report

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[11] According to the report, Connecticut received a grade of B and a numerical score of 83, indicating that Connecticut was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[11]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Connecticut was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[12]

Elections

2014

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate will consist of a primary election on August 12, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 10, 2014.

2012

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate were held in Connecticut on November 6, 2012. A total of 36 seats were up for election. The signature filing deadline was February 6, 2012 at 12 p.m. and the primary date was February 7, 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.

2010

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senator were held in Connecticut on November 2, 2010. Seats in all 36 senate districts are up for election in 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 8 for candidates of either the Republican or Democratic parties and August 4 for independents. The primary Election Day was August 10, 2010.

In 2010, the total campaign contributions raised in senate elections was $5,157,062. The top 10 overall contributors were:[13]

2008

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 12, 2008 and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $5,410,734. The top 10 contributors were:[14]

2006

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 8, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,431,204. The top 10 contributors were:[15]

2004

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 10, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,416,892. The top 10 contributors were:[16]

2002

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 10, 2002 and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $3,700,656. The top 10 contributors were:[17]

2000

See also: Connecticut State Senate elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Connecticut State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,866,237. The top 10 contributors were:[18]

Qualifications

Article III, Section 3 of the Connecticut Constitution states: The senate shall consist of not less than thirty and not more than fifty members, each of whom shall be an elector residing in the senatorial district from which he is elected. Each senatorial district shall be contiguous as to territory and shall elect no more than one senator.

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
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If there is a vacancy in the Senate, a special election must be conducted to fill the vacant seat. The Governor must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happened. All special elections must be held no later than 46 days after a Governor's declaration. If the vacancy happened with less than 125 days left before the general election, the special election must be held on the same day as the general election. No election can be called by the Governor if the vacancy happened with less than 49 days before the general election.[19]

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Connecticut

The General Assembly is responsible for redistricting. The legislature appoints a bipartisan committee to draw new maps, which are then presented to both chambers for a 2/3 majority vote. Should the legislature fail to meet its deadline, a nine-member commission is appointed to assume the task. Should the commission miss its own deadline, the task then falls on the Connecticut Supreme Court.

2010 census

Connecticut's population grew 4.9% from 2000 to 2010. The Assembly failed to adopt a plan in time, and the commission that took over the process barely passed one in time itself, finishing a House map with two days to go, and a Senate map leaving just hours to spare.

Senators

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates


Party As of August 2014
     Democratic Party 22
     Republican Party 14
Total 36


The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Connecticut State Senate from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Connecticut State Senate.PNG

Leadership

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Connecticut State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Nancy Wyman Electiondot.png Democratic
President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney Ends.png Republican

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Connecticut legislature are paid $28,000 per year. They receive no per diem.[20]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Connecticut legislators assume office the Wednesday following the first Monday of the January next succeeding their election.

Current members

Current members, Connecticut State Senate
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 John Fonfara Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
2 Eric Coleman Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
3 Gary LeBeau Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
4 Steve Cassano Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
5 Beth Bye Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
6 Terry Gerratana Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
7 John Kissel Ends.png Republican 1993
8 Kevin Witkos Ends.png Republican 2009
9 Paul Doyle Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
10 Gary Holder-Winfield Electiondot.png Democratic Feb. 2014
11 Martin Looney Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
12 Edward Meyer Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
13 Dante Bartolomeo Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
14 Gayle Slossberg Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
15 Joan Hartley Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
16 Joe Markley Ends.png Republican 2011
17 Joseph Crisco, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
18 Andrew Maynard Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
19 Catherine A. Osten Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
20 Andrea Stillman Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
21 Kevin C. Kelly Ends.png Republican 2011
22 Anthony Musto Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
23 Andres Ayala, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
24 Michael McLachlan Ends.png Republican 2009
25 Bob Duff Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
26 Antonietta Boucher Ends.png Republican 2009
27 Carlo Leone Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
28 John McKinney Ends.png Republican 1999
29 Donald Williams, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
30 Clark J. Chapin Ends.png Republican 2013
31 Jason Welch Ends.png Republican 2011
32 Robert Kane Ends.png Republican 2009
33 Art Linares Ends.png Republican 2013
34 Len Fasano Ends.png Republican 2003
35 Tony Guglielmo Ends.png Republican 1993
36 Scott Frantz Ends.png Republican 2009

Senate Committees

Unique among the 50 state legislatures, in Connecticut, all legislative committees are joint committees of the upper house and lower house.

See also: General Assembly Committees

History

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Connecticut
Partisan breakdown of the Connecticut legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Connecticut State Senate for 20 years while the Republicans were the majority for two years. The Connecticut State Senate is 1 of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the last 17 years of the study, the Connecticut senate was dominated by the Democratic party, with the final three years being Democratic trifectas.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Connecticut, the Connecticut State Senate and the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Connecticut state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Connecticut state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Between the years 1992 and 2005, Connecticut ranked in the top-10 in the SQLI ranking, in the top-5 for twelve of those thirteen years, and ranked 1st in 1992 and 1993. Beginning 2005, Connecticut dropped out of the top-10 and began a trend downward until hitting its lowest spot during the period of the study (33rd in 2012). Connecticut had divided government for eighteen years before having a Democratic trifecta in 2011. The state’s greatest decline in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2011 and 2012, when Connecticut dropped fourteen spots in the rankings. Connecticut has never had a Republican trifecta between 1992 and 2012.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 26.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 6.63
Chart displaying the partisanship of Connecticut government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links

References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
  3. Connecticut General Assembly, "Length of terms of Connecticut State Senators," accessed December 16, 2013
  4. Session Scheduling Rules website and Connecticut Constitution, Article III, Section 2
  5. Miami Herald, "Expected issues for 2014 Conn. legislative session," February 2, 2014
  6. ctmirror.org, "Winners and Losers from the 2013 legislative session," June 6, 2013
  7. StateScape, State Legislative Snapshot, accessed June 30, 2011
  8. National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  10. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  12. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  13. Follow the Money: "Connecticut Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  14. Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2008 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
  15. Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2006 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
  16. Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2004 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2002 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2000 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
  19. Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut General Statutes," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 9-215(a), Connecticut General Statutes)
  20. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013