Ohio State Senate
|Ohio State Senate|
|Term limits:||2 terms (8 years)|
|2014 session start:||January 7, 2014|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Keith Faber (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Thomas Patton (R)|
|Minority leader:||Joseph Schiavoni (D)|
Democratic Party (9)
Republican Party (23)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Sec. 1, Ohio Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (17 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Redistricting:||Ohio Redistricting Commission|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Standing Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Each member represents an average of 349,591 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 344,035 residents. The senators serve four-year terms with term limits.
Half of the senate is up for re-election every two years.
As of December 2014, Ohio is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article II of the Ohio Constitution establishes when the Ohio General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to meet. Section 8 of Article II states that the regular session is to convene on the first Monday in January of each year, or the following day if that Monday is a legal holiday.
Section 8 also contains rules for convening special sessions of the General Assembly. It empowers the Governor of Ohio or the presiding officers of the General Assembly to convene a special session. For the presiding officers to convene the session, they must act jointly.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through December 31.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session include raising taxes on gas and oil drilling, reforming Ohio’s municipal income tax system, changing the state's election and concealed-weapons laws, and reforming Medicaid and other health-care issues. Both chambers are also looking to reduce the state's energy efficiency and renewable energy mandates.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Assembly was in session from January 7 to December 31.
Keith Faber (R) took over as President of the Senate and the main focus of the legislature was adopting a new biennial state budget. Additionally, lawmakers addressed casino regulation, state collective-bargaining laws, Medicare expansion, and prison overcrowding.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate began its legislative session on January 3.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 3 through December 31.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Role in state budget
- See also: Ohio state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their requests to the governor in September and October.
- Agency hearings are held in October and November.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February (this deadline is extended to mid-March for a newly-elected governor).
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The biennium begins July 1 of odd-numbered years.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the state legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.
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. Ohio was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
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. According to the report, Ohio received a grade of D- and a numerical score of 51, indicating that Ohio was "lagging" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Ohio was given a grade of B 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.
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2014
Elections for the office of Ohio State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 6, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 5, 2014.
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2012
The signature filing deadline is December 7, 2011. The primary election date was March 6, 2012.
|2012 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$2,948,557|
|Ohio Republican Party||$589,951|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$181,958|
|American Electric Power||$148,736|
|Ohio Senate Democrats||$132,255|
|Ohio Association of Realtors||$132,000|
|Ohio Education Association||$130,273|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$129,667|
|King Strategic Communications||$108,777|
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Ohio State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 30||Lou Gentile||4.8%||157,287||Shane Thompson|
|District 18||John Eklund||9.4%||166,316||Jim Mueller|
|District 2||Randy Gardner||16.6%||175,432||Jeff Bretz|
|District 24||Thomas Patton||17.9%||176,839||Jennifer L. Brady|
|District 22||Larry Obhof Jr.||18.7%||159,225||James E. Riley|
|District 20||Troy Balderson||19%||150,736||Teresa M. Scarmack|
|District 26||Dave Burke||20.5%||142,796||Tanyce J. Addison|
|District 10||Chris Widener||22.6%||155,631||Jeff D. Robertson|
|District 8||Bill Seitz||22.9%||170,596||Richard G. Luken|
|District 6||Peggy Lehner||24.8%||169,969||Rickey E. McKiddy|
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2010
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 18, 2010 (May 3 for independents). The primary Election Day was May 4, 2010.
|2010 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$2,463,124|
|Ohio Republican Party||$1,246,811|
|Ohio Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte||$482,625|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte||$325,958|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$213,780|
|Schneider, Michelle G||$151,000|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$146,030|
|Ohio Senate Democrats||$145,500|
|SEIU Healthcare District 1199||$125,451|
|Ohio Dental Association||$122,600|
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Ohio's State Senate were held in Ohio on November 4, 2008.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was January 4, 2008. The primary Election Day was March 4, 2008.
|2008 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$3,056,587|
|Ohio Republican Party||$656,103|
|Ohio Senate Democrats||$232,313|
|Ohio Association of Realtors||$172,800|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$146,040|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$134,855|
|Brennan, David L||$103,150|
|Ohio State Medical Association||$96,950|
|Citizens for Gillmor||$92,670|
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Ohio's State Senate consisted of a primary Election Day on May 2, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
|2006 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$2,911,762|
|Ohio Republican Party||$970,751|
|Ohio Senate Democrats||$849,418|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$269,664|
|Ohio Association of Realtors||$196,850|
|Brennan, David L||$137,500|
|Ohio Education Association||$133,550|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$127,650|
|Ohio Dental Association||$105,334|
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Ohio's State Senate consisted of a primary Election Day on March 2, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
|2004 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$2,146,563|
|Ohio Republican Party||$411,732|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$325,765|
|Ohio Association of Realtors||$90,500|
|Ohio House Republican Campaign Cmte||$90,340|
|Ohio Education Association||$86,800|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$76,400|
|Muskingum County Democratic Party||$72,474|
|Brennan, Ann Amer||$70,000|
|Ohio Automobile Dealers Association/Dealers Investment Group||$69,600|
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Ohio's State Senate consisted of a primary Election Day on May 7, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
|2002 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$3,998,806|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$869,985|
|Ohio Republican Party||$443,802|
|Ohio Senate Democrats||$156,754|
|Montgomery County Republican Party||$134,510|
|Ohio Education Association||$120,550|
|Democratic National Cmte||$100,000|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$80,613|
|Ohio Association of Realtors||$65,500|
|Ohio Society of CPAS||$62,654|
- See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Ohio's State Senate consisted of a primary Election Day on March 21, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
|2000 Donors, Ohio State Senate|
|Republican Senate Campaign Cmte of Ohio||$779,059|
|Ohio Senate Democrats||$296,782|
|Ohio Republican Party||$280,412|
|Ohio Democratic Party||$203,827|
|Ohio Education Association||$151,069|
|Ohio House Republican Campaign Cmte||$114,395|
|Ohio Society of CPAS||$83,639|
|Ohio Association of Realtors||$77,630|
|Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio||$76,784|
|Ohio State Medical Association||$67,900|
Article 2, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution states: Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective districts one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this state.
Article 2, Section 5 of the Ohio Constitution states: No person hereafter convicted of an embezzlement of the public funds, shall hold any office in this state; nor shall any person, holding public money for disbursement, or otherwise, have a seat in the General Assembly, until he shall have accounted for, and paid such money into the treasury.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
Whenever there is a vacancy in the senate, the members of the senate must vote on a replacement. Only members of the party that last held the seat can vote on a replacement. A simple majority vote is needed to approve a replacement.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Ohio legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Ohio Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Ohio senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms, or a total of eight years.
The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2000.
- See also: Redistricting in Ohio
The Ohio Apportionment Board is responsible for legislative redistricting. It is comprised of 5 members: the Governor, State Auditor, Secretary of State, and two members selected by the legislative leaders of the two major parties.
Ohio received its 2010 local census data in early March 2011. Although the state population showed net growth, Ohio's large cities recorded significant population loss. Of the state's five largest cities only Columbus showed population growth. Cleveland suffered the sharpest decline, losing 17.1% of its population.
The Ohio Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, Reapportionment, and Demographic Research assisted the General Assembly and Ohio Apportionment Board in drafting new maps. Four of the five members of the Board were Republicans. By a vote of 4-1 they gave final approval to a new map on September 28, 2011 - two days after posting them online. The lone Democrat on the Board, Rep. Armond Budish, opposed the map, saying it "quarantines" Democrats in 1/3 of the legislative districts.
On January 4, 2012, Democrats filed suit against the legislative maps, saying they violated constitutional requirements for compactness and preservation of county and municipal boundaries. The Ohio Supreme Court took the case but, due to the time factor, ruled the new maps would stand for the 2012 elections, with possible revisions to apply starting in 2014.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Ohio Legislature are paid $60,584/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive no per diem.
When sworn in
Ohio legislators assume office January 1st.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of December 2014|
Each legislative session, the President of the Senate, a member of the majority caucus, is chosen by all members of the Senate. The majority and minority caucuses select their respective leaders.
List of current members
Standing Senate Committees
Ohio Senate has 14 standing committees:
- Civil Justice
- Commerce and Labor
- Criminal Justice Committee
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Insurance and Financial Institutions
- State Government, Oversight, and Reform
- Medicaid, Health, and Human Services
- Public Utilities
- Public Safety, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs
- Ways and Means
- Workforce and Economic Development Committee
Partisan balance 1992-2013
During every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Ohio State Senate. The Ohio State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Ohio was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study period.
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.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Ohio 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. Ohio had Republican trifectas during most of the years of the study, from 1995-2006 and from 2011-2013. The state's highest SQLI ranking, finishing 20th, occurred in 1997 during a Republican trifecta. Its lowest ranking, finishing 38th, occurred from 2008-2010 during a divided government.
- Ohio General Assembly
- Ohio House of Representatives
- Ohio state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in Ohio
- Ohio State Senate official webpage
- Official list of Ohio State Senators
- The Ohio State Senate on Wikipedia
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- census.gov, "Census 2000 PHC-T-2. Ranking Tables for States: 1990 and 2000," accessed May 15, 2014
- termlimits.org, "List of state legislative term limits," accessed December 18, 2013
- www.cleveland.com, "Ohio lawmakers' 2014 agenda includes budget changes, tax overhauls," accessed January 10, 2014
- The Columbus Dispatch, "Ohio Senate’s new leader brings aggressive style," January 6, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 19, 2014(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Ohio State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 1, 2014
- Ohio Legislature, "Ohio Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Section, Article II, Section 11)
- Examiner.com, "4 of 5 big Ohio cities, counties lose people, Whites still dominate, Census says," March 10, 2011
- The Columbus Dispatch, "Reapportionment: Maps tilt Ohio more to GOP," September 24, 2011
- Daily Jeffersonian, "No Ohio Redistricting Decision Before Election," February 19, 2012
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Ohio State Senate, "Majority Leadership," accessed June 24, 2014
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