Maryland State Senate
|Maryland State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 9, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Thomas Mike Miller, Jr., (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Robert Garagiola (D)|
|Minority leader:||E.J. Pipkin, (R)|
| Democratic Party (35) |
Republican Party (12)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Section 2, Maryland Constitution|
|Salary:||$43,500/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (47 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (47 seats)|
|Redistricting:||General Assembly has control|
As of June 2013, Maryland is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article III of the Maryland Constitution establishes when the Maryland General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 14 of Article III states that the General Assembly is to convene in regular session every year on the second Wednesday of January.
Section 14 also contains the procedures for convening extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly. If a majority of the members of each legislative house petition the Governor of Maryland with a request for an extraordinary session, the Governor is constitutionally required to proclaim an extraordinary session.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through April 8.
Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) legislative agenda includes an assault weapons ban, boosting the state's wind power industry, and repeal of the death penalty. Transportation funding will also be a major issue.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 11 through April 19.
In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 13th to April 12th. 
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Maryland 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: Maryland State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Maryland State Senate were held in Maryland on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was July 6, 2010 and the primary election day was on September 14, 2010.
Maryland's 47 state senators are elected to four-year terms. The elections are not staggered; rather, all 47 seats are up for election on a cycle of 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022, etc.
In 2010, the candidates running for state senate raised a total of $9,313,367 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Maryland State Senate|
|Lenett, Michael G||$226,697|
|Helton, Arthur H||$181,000|
|Maryland Realtors Association||$139,665|
|Community Coalition Advocacy Slate||$125,000|
|Service Employees DC & Maryland State Council 54||$98,800|
|Dearmon, Donald M||$81,092|
|Maryland Trial Lawyers Association||$75,000|
|Democratic Senate Slate||$60,812|
|Health Policy Leadership Alliance||$57,375|
Section 9 of Article 3 of the Maryland Constitution states, "A person is eligible to serve as a Senator or Delegate, who on the date of his election, (1) is a citizen of the State of Maryland, (2) has resided therein for at least one year next preceding that date, and (3) if the district which he has been chosen to represent has been established for at least six months prior to the date of his election, has resided in that district for six months next preceding that date.
If the district which the person has been chosen to represent has been established less than six months prior to the date of his election, then in addition to (1) and (2) above, he shall have resided in the district for as long as it has been established.
A person is eligible to serve as a Senator, if he has attained the age of twenty-five years, or as a Delegate, if he has attained the age of twenty-one years, on the date of his election.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
The Governor has 30 days after the vacancy to make an appointment based on the recommendations of the political party committee that holds the vacant seat. The political party committee has up to 30 days after the vacancy to submit a list of recommended candidates to the Governor. If the party committee fails to act within the 30 day deadline, the Governor has 15 days to appoint a person from the political party that last held the seat.
The person appointed to the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.
- See also: Redistricting in Maryland
Maryland employs two distinct processes for state legislative and Congressional redistricting. The General Assembly bears primary responsibility, proposing and passing the redistricting plan as ordinary legislation, and the Governor of Maryland can veto the plan. For state legislative redistricting, the Governor is responsible for drafting plans and submitting the new maps to the General Assembly. The Governor, aided by an advisory commission, submits a plan, and the chamber leadership introduces the plan as a joint resolution. The General Assembly may then adopt the plan or pass another. If a plan is not adopted by the 45th day of the session, the Governor's plan becomes law.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland's population grew from 5.30 million to 5.77 million between 2000 and 2010. The growth rate was slightly below the national average, but was one of the fastest rates in the Northeast. Maryland retained all eight Congressional districts, but population shifts suggested that many districts would need to be redrawn. The City of Baltimore lost population relative to other areas of the state.
Gov. Martin O'Malley introduced a state legislative plan on January 11, 2012. Members of the legislature produced alternative plans, but no hearings were scheduled. O'Malley's map became law in February 2012 without a vote. The map-making process had been criticized for the inclusion of a tax evader on the Redistricting Advisory Committee, but O'Malley noted that the financial troubles of this member were not made known to him or the public until later in the process, and this individual was cut off from the process after that point.
The Congressional district map has been challenged by petitioners, and may be put to popular referendum.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Maryland legislature are paid $43,500/year. Legislators receive $100/day for lodging. Additionally, they receive $42 for meals and $225/day for out-of-state travel (which includes meals/lodging).
The President and President Pro Tem of the Senate are elected by the full body. The President appoints the majority leader. These two leaders then appoint the deputy majority leader and majority whip. Minority leaders are names by the minority party.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of June 2013|
When sworn in
Maryland legislators assume office the second Wednesday in January after the election.
|Maryland State Senate|
The Maryland Senate has six (6) standing committees:
- Budget and Taxation
- Education, Health and Environmental Affairs
- Executive Nominations
- Judicial Proceedings
Unicameral to bicameral
Maryland's State Senate was officially split off from what then became the Maryland House of Delegates in 1650. It was known then as the "Upper House of the General Assembly" and consisted of the Governor of Maryland and his council of advisors. However, over the next 10 years, the bicameral legislative was unstable.
Two times, in 1654 and 1657, Puritan governors (appointed by Parlimentary Commissioners based in England), convened a unicameral legislature. In 1660, Maryland's Governor, Josias Fendall, officially abolished the upper house. This act was known as "Fendall's Rebellion" and was quickly overturned and the upper house resumed the composition it had been given in 1650 for a century, with the exception that in 1675 the governor was removed from a seat in it.
Length of terms
The Maryland Constitution of 1776 officially established the senate and removed from it all members of the Governor's Council. That constitution also set the length of state senate terms at five years. 
In 1838, a constitutional amendment was approved that changed the length of the term to six years.
The Constitution of 1851 reduced the length of the senatorial terms to four years, where it remains to this day.
Partisan balance 1992-2013
During every year from 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Maryland State Senate. The Maryland State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Maryland was under Democratic trifectas for the last seven 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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the Maryland State Senate official website
- Wikipedia:Current members of the Maryland State Senate
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ "Maryland General Assembly" About The Maryland Senate, March 3, 2009
- ↑ Washington Post, "Maryland legislative session begins with bold predictions," January 9, 2013
- ↑ Maryland General Assembly
- ↑ Yahoo Finance, Md. special session anticipated in week of Oct. 17, July 6, 2011
- ↑ 2010 session dates for Maryland legislature
- ↑ Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Maryland Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Maryland General Assembly "Maryland Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article III, Section 13, Subsection (a)(1))
- ↑ Maryland General Assembly "Maryland Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article III, Section 13, Subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2))
- ↑ Maryland General Assembly "Maryland Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article III, Section 13, Subsection (a)(4))
- ↑ Maryland Department of Planning, "Redistricting FAQs," Accessed June 16, 2011
- ↑ U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Maryland Profile, 2011
- ↑ The Baltimore Sun, "Maryland population grows by 480,000, Census says," December 21, 2010
- ↑ Baltimore Sun, "Redistricting: Mighty Baltimore to lose influence," August 11, 2011
- ↑ WBAL, "Lawmakers To Let O'Malley Redistricting Plan Take Effect Without a Vote," February 23, 2012
- ↑ Baltimore Sun, "Redistricting plan questioned after O'Malley adviser's conviction," December 22, 2011
- ↑ The Baltimore Sun, "Redistricting Map Foes Say They Have Passed First Test," May 31, 2012
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ Organizational Structure of the Maryland State Senate
- ↑ Maryland State Archives, "History of the Maryland State Senate
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