Indiana State Senate
|Indiana State Senate|
|2015 session start:||January 6, 2015|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Sue Ellspermann (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Brandt Hershman (R)|
|Minority leader:||Timothy Lanane (D)|
Democratic Party (10)
Republican Party (40)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Indiana Constitution|
|Salary:||$22,616/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (25 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (25 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Indiana Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Standing Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The session of the Indiana State Senate begins the first Tuesday after the first Monday every January. In odd numbered years, the Senate must meet 61 days, though not consecutive, and adjourn no later than April 30. The sessions in the odd numbered years are called a "long" session. In even numbered years when elections are held, the Senate must meet for 30 days (not consecutive) and adjourn no later than March 15. The sessions in the even numbered years are a called "short" session.
As of February 2015, Indiana is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article 4 of the Indiana Constitution establishes when the Indiana General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 9 of Article 4 states that the General Assembly will begin its regular session on the Tuesday following the second Monday in January of each year. However, Section 9 allows the starting state for the session to be changed by law. This has happened in Indiana in 2010, as the General Assembly's session convened on January 5th instead of the constitutionally designated date, which was January 12th.
Section 9 also gives the Governor of Indiana the power to call special sessions of the General Assembly.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the General Assembly is in session from January 6 through April 29.
Major issues during the 2015 legislative session include an increase in education funding, funding for roads and bridges, Sunday alcohol sales and funding last year's criminal code overhaul.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the General Assembly was in session from January 6 through March 14.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, elimination of the state tax on business equipment and education reforms, including whether or not Indiana should continue participating in "Common Core."
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Assembly was in session from January 7 through April 29.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included education funding, utility bills, riverboat gambling, and regulation of how much pseudoephedrine individuals can buy annually.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through March 14.
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5th to April 29th.
In the 2011 session, the Indiana legislature reduced the corporate income tax from 8.5 to 6.5 percent, spread over four years.
At the end of the 2011 fiscal year in July 2011, the Daniels administration revealed a $1.2 billion surplus.
The state's unexpected extra income came from the administration's ability to make deep budget cuts, along with higher than anticipated tax revenues. The budget cuts raked in nearly $460 million more than the $597 million the state had originally aimed for last July. Tax collections also contributed to the surplus, bringing in $204 million more than it had projected, with $195 million coming from income taxes.
Despite the optimism, not everyone in Indiana viewed the surplus positively. House Minority Leader Pat Bauer claimed that the administration's report was "gimmicky," referring to cuts that were made to health care and education. The state school system reportedly bore much of the budget cutting burden since July 2010, returning $325 million from the $6.9 billion that it was allotted in the previous budget.
David Patterson, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, said that "demonized" state employees should receive some of the surplus, in part because they had to work harder to account for the many eliminated positions.
After the surplus was revealed, Daniels stated that the extra money would be put into savings, rather than trying to fix the past and reverse previous cuts.
Hoosiers nearly made off with their own piece of the surplus, but the numbers fell just shy. The amount necessary to trigger automatic tax refunds is 10 percent or more of general spending. The $1.2 billion landed just short of that, at 9.1 percent.
In a blunder that state policy website Stateline wryly called "a stunning feat of governmental streamlining," legislators accidentally abolished Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) at the end of June 2011 due to a clerical mistake in a bill meant to save it.
The Administration, which "manages Medicaid and other major programs for Indiana's poor, elderly and disabled," was scheduled to "sunset," or cease operations, on June 30. Lawmakers passed a bill to extend the agency's operations; the law, however, went into effect on July 1, meaning the FSSA was allowed to disappear a day before it was scheduled to be saved. Governor Mitch Daniels (R) subsequently issued an executive order on July 7 allowing the agency to continue operations.
Daniels's executive order will hold until legislators can correct their mistake or until he issues an annual order. According to gubernatorial spokeswoman Jane Jankowski, the agency was previously run by executive order before it was codified into law.
Democratic and Republican legislators blamed each other for the mix-up; the GOP claimed that a five-week walkout by Dems led to a time crunch for the legislature's bill drafters, while Democrats accused their rivals of failing to pass their agenda in a timely manner.
In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 5th to March 12th.
Role in state budget
- See also: Indiana state budget and finances
- In May of the year preceding the beginning of the new biennium, budget instructions and guidelines are sent to state agencies.
- In August, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor
- Hearings are held with state agencies from September to November.
- Public hearings on the budget are held from September to March.
- The governor submits his or her budget to the state legislature in February.
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in April, effective for the fiscal biennium beginning in July. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
There are no constitutional or statutory provisions mandating that the governor must submit or the legislature must pass a balanced budget. Budget deficits may be carried over to the next biennium.
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. Indiana 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" report, 2014
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, Indiana received a grade of A- and a numerical score of 94, indicating that Indiana was "leading" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Indiana was given a grade of D 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: Indiana State Senate elections, 2014
Elections for the office of Indiana 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 7, 2014.
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2012
This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the Indiana Senate had a solid majority and looked to gain a supermajority.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Indiana State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|Indiana State Senate, District 36, General Election||Brent Waltz||6.4%||41,302||Mary Ann Sullivan|
|Indiana State Senate, District 5, General Election||Ed Charbonneau||9.6%||54,805||Debora Porter|
|Indiana State Senate, District 35, General Election||Michael Young||13.4%||41,322||Mark Waterfill|
|Indiana State Senate, District 8, General Election||Jim Arnold||16.6%||52,806||Eric Harris|
|Indiana State Senate, District 32, General Election||Patricia Miller||18.3%||49,291||John Barnes|
|Indiana State Senate, District 50, General Election||Vaneta Becker||19.3%||52,164||Terry White|
|Indiana State Senate, District 40, General Election||Mark Stoops||20.4%||50,931||Reid Dallas|
|Indiana State Senate, District 28, General Election||Michael Crider||23.4%||55,160||Michael Adkins|
|Indiana State Senate, District 7, General Election||Brandt Hershman||27.1%||45,960||Brad Thompson|
|Indiana State Senate, District 16, General Election||David Long||30.3%||51,099||Charles Keen|
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Indiana State Senator were held in Indiana on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 19, 2010 for Republicans and Democrats, and June 30 for Independents and other candidates. The primary election day was on May 4, 2010.
Elections were held in 25 of Indiana's 50 senate districts, with incumbents running in 22 of the races.
The partisan breakdown of the Senate before and after the election was as follows:
|Indiana State Senate|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in state senate elections was $4,046,473. The top donors were:
|2010 Donors, Indiana State Senate|
|Senate Majority Campaign Cmte of Indiana||$578,408|
|Indiana Democratic Party||$532,797|
|Indiana Republican Party||$305,368|
|Indiana State Teachers Association||$82,287|
|Indiana Trial Lawyers Association||$78,200|
|Hoosiers for Economic Growth||$72,500|
|Indiana Hospital Association||$56,750|
|Indiana Motor Truck Association||$56,150|
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Indiana State Senate consisted of a primary election on May 6, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $4,518,011. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Indiana State Senate|
|Indiana Republican Party||$|
|Indiana Senate Majority Campaign Cmte||$|
|Indiana Democratic Party||$|
|Indiana Senate Democratic Cmte||$|
|Indiana Chamber Of Commerce||$|
|Mcmanus Agency - Castlewood Realty||$|
|Indiana Hospital Association||$|
|Swaim, Randall C Head & Lisa L||$|
|Indiana Trial Lawyers Association||$|
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Indiana State Senate consisted of a primary election on May 2, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $5,289,748. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Indiana State Senate|
|Indiana Democratic Party||$713,906|
|Indiana Republican Party||$277,605|
|Indiana State Teachers Association||$130,250|
|Indiana Trial Lawyers Association||$69,750|
|Indiana Association of Realtors||$66,900|
|Insurance Institute of Indiana||$57,000|
|Indiana Senate Democratic Cmte||$52,146|
|Morrow, Joseph T||$50,000|
|Build Indiana Council||$47,600|
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Indiana State Senate consisted of a primary election on May 4, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $3,820,464. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Indiana State Senate|
|Senate Majority Campaign Cmte of Indiana||$134,207|
|Vi Simpson for State Senate||$126,469|
|Indiana State Teachers Association||$72,000|
|Indiana Senate Democratic Cmte||$67,619|
|J Murray Clark for Governor||$62,706|
|Luke Kenley for Governor||$60,900|
|Indiana Hospital Association||$49,291|
|Insurance Institute of Indiana||$46,700|
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Indiana State Senate consisted of a primary election on May 7, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $3,243,894. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Indiana State Senate|
|Indiana State Teachers Association||$215,450|
|Indiana Senate Democratic Cmte||$117,414|
|Indiana Chamber Of Commerce||$89,650|
|Senate Majority Campaign Cmte of Indiana||$73,814|
|Indiana Association of Realtors||$58,450|
|Insurance Institute of Indiana||$49,250|
|Indiana State Medical Association||$42,913|
|Friends of Indiana Hospitals||$40,136|
|Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$35,938|
|Eli Lilly & Co||$33,550|
- See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Indiana State Senate consisted of a primary election on May 2, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $2,124,931. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Indiana State Senate|
|Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus||$139,774|
|Senate Majority Campaign Cmte||$111,960|
|Indiana State Teachers Association||$89,100|
|Brad R Hiller Senate Majority Campaign Cmte||$52,457|
|Indiana Chamber of Commerce||$36,303|
|Insurance Institute of Indiana||$33,445|
|Friends of Indiana Hospitals||$33,150|
|Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$31,795|
|Build Indiana Council||$29,350|
|Indiana Association of Realtors||$24,850|
To be eligible to serve in the Indiana State Senate, a candidate must be:
- A United States citizen at the time of election
- Have resided in the state for at least two years and in the senate district for at least one year before the election
- Be at least twenty-five (25) years old upon taking office;
- Registered to vote in the election district the person seeks to represent not later than the deadline for filing the declaration or petition of candidacy or certificate of nomination
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
Whenever there is a vacancy in the Senate, the state committee of a political party must appoint a replacement. The appointee selected by the state committee is contingent upon the approval of the state party chairperson. A special election is only allowed if the vacant seat is left by an independent.
Redistricting is handled primarily by the General Assembly. Should it fail to enact a redistricting plan, the five-person Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission is then tasked with redrawing legislative boundaries.
Census figures for Indiana were released on December 21, 2010. The state's population grew 6.6 percent to almost 6.5 million. The redistricting process began the week of April 11, 2011. Although the deadline of April 29 only applied to congressional districts, Republicans insisted on a speedy process, to the dissatisfaction of Democrats who argued that the plan reduced competition and posed a disadvantage to minorities. With the signature of Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10, 2011, Indiana became the third state -- after Iowa and Louisiana -- to complete its entire redistricting process.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Indiana legislature are paid $22,616.46/year. Additionally, legislators receive $152/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
Indiana legislators created a 401(k) plan for themselves in 1989, becoming the first in the nation to do so. Lawmakers who took office after April 1989 were ineligible for the traditional pension plan, receiving the individual retirement account instead.
Legislators pay 5% of their annual salary into the 401(k). In 2007, they voted to include per diem allowances, expense payments and leadership stipends into the calculation, thus raising their retirement accounts.
When sworn in
Indiana legislators assume office the day after their general election.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of February 2015|
Standing Senate Committees
The Indiana Senate has 21 standing committees:
- Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Civil Law
- Commerce, Economic Development and Technology
- Corrections and Criminal Law
- Education and Career Development
- Environmental Affairs
- Financial Institutions
- Health and Provider Services
- Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs
- Joint Rules
- Local Government
- Pensions and Labor
- Public Policy
- Rules and Legislative Procedure
- Tax and Fiscal Policy
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Indiana State Senate. The Indiana State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years of the study, Indiana was under Republican 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.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Indiana 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. Indiana had a long period of divided government between 1992 and 2004 until the arrival of a Republican trifecta in 2005. Indiana reverted back to divided government between 2007 and 2010 before reverting yet again to a Republican trifecta in 2011. The state has never had a Democratic trifecta. Indiana’s highest SQLI ranking came in 1995 (12th) under divided government, while the state’s lowest SQLI ranking came in 2009 (34th), also under divided government. The state’s greatest leap in the ranking occurred between 1994 and 1995, where Indiana rose seven spots. Its greatest decline in the ranking occurred between 2003 and 2004, where the state dropped seven spots.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 29.25
- SQLI average with divided government: 20.82
- Official list of Indiana State Senators
- Vote Smart profile of Indiana State Senate
- Indiana State Senate Republicans official webpage
- Indiana State Senate Democrats official webpage
- Indiana General Assembly official webpage
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- indianapublicmedia.org, "4 Issues To Watch In The Upcoming State Legislative Session," January 3, 2015
- indianaeconomicdigest.net, "Legislators sort key issues of the General Assembly's 2013 session," April 28, 2013
- Stateline.org, States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes, June 15, 2011 (Archived)
- Nwi.com, Indiana ends budget year with $1.2B surplus, July 14, 2011
- Evansville Courier & Press, "Indiana governor revives agency mistakenly canceled," July 10, 2011
- Stateline, "Clerical error eliminates Indiana's largest state agency," July 11, 2011
- 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
- Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Follow the Money: "Indiana Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Indiana 2008 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Indiana 2006 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Indiana 2004 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Indiana 2002 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Indiana 2000 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- "2010 Indiana Candidate Guide," accessed December 16, 2013
- FindLaw, "Indiana Code," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute Indiana Code §3-13-5-0.1)
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "How state lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," April 16, 2012
- Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus Leadership
- Indiana Senate Republican Caucus Leadership (dead link)
State of Indiana
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