New Hampshire State Senate
|New Hampshire State Senate|
|Partisan control:||Republican Party|
|2015 session start:||January 7, 2015|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Chuck Morse (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Jeb Bradley (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Jeff Woodburn (D)|
Democratic Party (10)
Republican Party (14)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||General Court, Art 3, Sec. 3, New Hampshire Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (24 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (24 seats)|
|Redistricting:||New Hampshire Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 History
- 5 Redistricting
- 6 Senators
- 7 Senate Standing Committees
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Generally, sessions are held annually from early January to the end of June.
Senators are paid $100 a year, as stipulated by the New Hampshire Constitution. Senators also receive mileage reimbursement for officially related travel. The 2009-2010 Senate consists of 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans -- 13 of whom are women and 11 of whom are men. The 2008 election made New Hampshire the first state in the nation to have a legislative body with a majority of women.
In New Hampshire, all 24 Senate districts are based on population. The most recent redistricting occurred in 2004. Each member represents an average of 54,853 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 51,491 residents.
As of May 2015, New Hampshire is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
The Second Part of the New Hampshire Constitution establishes when the New Hampshire General Court, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Article 3 of the Second Part states that the General Court is to convene annually on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January. Additionally, in even-numbered years, the General Court is to meet on the first Wednesday of December for organizational purposes.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the General Court will be in session from January 7 to July 1 (Projected).
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the General Court was in session from January 8 through June 13.
Major issues in the 2014 legislative session included capital punishment, a proposed casino, raising fuel taxes for road improvement, Medicaid expansion, and a return of the state minimum wage.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Court was in session from January 2 to July 1.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included the state's budget deficit, education funding, state pensions, and abortion.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through June 27.
Major issues on the agenda included economic development, job creation, same-sex marriage, and gambling.
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5 through July 1.
Role in state budget
- See also: New Hampshire state budget and finances
|New Hampshire on|
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August.
- State agencies submit their requests by October 1.
- Agency hearings and public hearings are held in November.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Hampshire State Legislature by February 15.
- The legislature adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
- The biennial budget cycle begins in July.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating 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. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. New Hampshire 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, New Hampshire received a grade of C+ and a numerical score of 75, indicating that New Hampshire was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. New Hampshire was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was 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.
Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on September 9, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 13, 2014.
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 New Hampshire Senate currently have a supermajority, which Democrats are seeking to cut into.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, New Hampshire State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 9||Andy Sanborn||0.7%||30,695||Lee Nyquist|
|District 16||David Boutin||1.4%||28,277||Kathleen Kelley|
|District 6||Sam Cataldo||2.6%||24,891||Richard Leonard|
|District 12||Peggy Gilmour||3.9%||29,346||Jim Luther|
|District 24||Nancy Stiles||5%||32,598||Beverly Hollingworth|
|District 17||John Reagan||5.5%||27,810||Nancy R.B. Fraher|
|District 23||Russell Prescott||6.9%||28,105||Carol Croteau|
|District 2||Jeanie Forrester||8.2%||27,623||Robert Lamb, Jr.|
|District 14||Sharon Carson||12.6%||25,633||Katherine Messner|
|District 18||Donna Soucy||17.5%||23,541||J. Gail Barry|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 11, 2010. The primary Election Day was September 14, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $2,461,574 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, New Hampshire State Senate|
|New Hampshire Association of Realtors||$36,300|
|Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire||$32,800|
|New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association||$25,850|
|Gallagher Callahan & Gartrell||$24,200|
|Electrical Workers Local 2320||$22,500|
|Tausch, Frederick W||$20,000|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 9, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to State Senate candidates was $2,618,697. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, New Hampshire State Senate|
|New Hampshire Association Of Realtors||$43,650|
|Martin Jr, Willard G||$33,350|
|Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire||$30,923|
|Gallagher Callahan & Gartrell||$22,750|
|Clark, Martha Fuller||$20,750|
|Daniel Webster PAC||$20,500|
|Denley, William P||$20,000|
|New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association||$19,009|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to State Senate candidates was $2,684,106. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, New Hampshire House of Representatives|
|Sapareto, Frank V||$39,597|
|New Hampshire Association Of Realtors||$38,750|
|21St Century Freedom PAC||$32,000|
|New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association||$31,650|
|Gallagher Callahan & Gartrell||$25,200|
|Senate Republican Victory PAC||$24,100|
|Straight Talk America||$21,000|
|Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire||$20,000|
|Clark, Martha Fuller||$19,650|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 14, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,045,226. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, New Hampshire State Senate|
|French, Carroll D (Dave)||$47,200|
|New Hampshire Association Of Realtors||$23,050|
|New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association||$22,700|
|Clark, Martha Fuller||$20,000|
|Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire||$14,300|
|New Hampshire Medical Society||$13,650|
|New Hampshire Education Association||$13,050|
|Gallagher Callahan & Gartrell||$13,000|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire 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 State Senate candidates was $1,764,674. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, New Hampshire State Senate|
|Bragdon, Peter E||$43,997|
|Gallus, John T||$34,516|
|New Hampshire Job Creation Alliance||$30,750|
|Brothers, Richard S||$25,000|
|Effective Government Cmte||$22,500|
|New Hampshire Association Of Realtors||$21,975|
|New American Optimists||$21,000|
|Kenney, Joseph D||$20,025|
|Humphrey, Gordon J||$17,500|
Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 10, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,826,673. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, New Hampshire State Senate|
|Gatsas, Theodore L||$93,270|
|New Hampshire Job Creation Alliance||$61,000|
|Cmte To Elect Republican State Senators Of New Hampshire||$50,000|
|Presby, Wayne W||$38,809|
|Infantine, William J||$18,150|
|Courage & Leadership PAC||$17,500|
|New Hampshire Association Of Realtors||$15,450|
|Friends Of Rick Trombly||$15,255|
|Granite State Teamsters||$15,100|
|Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire||$15,100|
- At least thirty years of age
- A resident of the state for seven years immediately preceding the election
- An inhabitant of the district for which they are chosen
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the senate, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. It's up to the Governor to call for an election and to set an election date as soon as possible. There are no deadlines set by the state constitution on special elections.
- The New Hampshire State Senate was established in 1784. At that time, it included twelve members, who were each elected for one-year terms. The twelve senators were elected from the five counties New Hampshire then had:
- One senator from Grafton
- Two from Strafford, Hillsborough, and Cheshire
- Five from Rockingham
The number of senators each county was entitled to elect was based on how the amount of taxes it raised, not on population. This system changed in 1794 when senate districts took the place of county-wide representation, with one senator per district.
The number of senators was doubled to 24 in 1878 with a constitutional amendment. The term of office was expanded to two years in office and twenty-four districts were creates. However, senate districts were not based on population until 1964. Up through 1968, senators voted to fill vacancies; in 1968 the constitution was amended so that special elections were held to fill vacancies.
In the early years of the senate, a candidate had to be at least 30 years old, have lived in the state for at least seven years, and be a property owner and a Protestant. The property-ownership requirement was removed in 1852. The Protestant requirement was removed in 1877.
First female senator
The first woman elected to the New Hampshire Senate was Maude Ferguson, a Republican from Bristol. Ferguson served from 1931-1933.
- The state senator who has served the longest in office is referred to as the "Dean of the Senate."
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New Hampshire State Senate for six years while the Republicans were the majority for 16 years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the New Hampshire senate with all three years being Republican.
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 New Hampshire 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. New Hampshire experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas during the years of the study. Two Republican trifectas occurred in the first years of the study, from 1992-1996 and from 2003-2004. The state then shifted and had a Democratic trifecta from 2007-2010. New Hampshire ranked high in the SQLI, finishing in the top-10 every year of the study, and in 1st over half of the years of the study. The state finished 1st during both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as during years of divided government. Its lowest rankings occurred in the last two years of the study, when the government was divided.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 2.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 1.71
- SQLI average with divided government: 2.20
- See also: Redistricting in New Hampshire
Redistricting in New Hampshire is handled by the General Court, with the Governor wielding veto power.
New Hampshire received its local Census data on March 22, 2011. The state's population increased 6.5 percent, with Coos County being the only county to face a decrease (-0.2 percent). Growth in the larger cities was mild: Manchester grew by 2.4 percent, Nashua decreased by 0.1 percent, Concord grew by 4.9 percent, Derry decreased by 2.7 percent, and Dover grew by 11.5 percent.
At the time of redistricting, Republicans controlled the General Court, and the Democrats controlled the governorship. On March 23, 2012, Gov. John Lynch (D) signed into law a new Senate plan but vetoed the House map, citing a lack of representation in towns that exceed 3,000, which automatically merit their own representative; the Legislature overrode the veto on March 28, 2012. The Department of Justice -- which has the duty of pre-clearing New Hampshire redistricting maps under the Voting Rights Act -- approved the maps in May 2012. On June 19, 2012, several lawsuits regarding the House map were thrown out by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2010, members of the New Hampshire Senate are paid $200/two-year term. There is no per diem.
New Hampshire does not provide pensions for legislators.
When sworn in
New Hampshire legislators assume office the month after elections (December).
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2015|
After November elections, the entire Senate meets in early December to elect a president, who is traditionally from the majority party. New Hampshire does not have a lieutenant governor, and so when the governor is away or unable to perform the duties of the office, the Senate president serves as acting governor. The Senate president assigns the other leadership positions within their party, and the minority party appoints its own leaders.
|Current Leadership, New Hampshire State Senate|
|President of the Senate||Chuck Morse||Republican|
|President Pro Tempore of the Senate||Sharon Carson||Republican|
|Deputy President Pro Tempore||Russell Prescott||Republican|
|Senate Majority Leader||Jeb Bradley||Republican|
|Senate Minority Leader||Jeff Woodburn||Democratic|
List of current members
|Current members, New Hampshire State Senate|
|21||Martha Fuller Clark||Democratic||2012|
Senate Standing Committees
The New Hampshire State Senate has 12 standing committees:
- Capital Budget Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Commerce Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Education Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Energy and Natural Resources Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Executive Departments and Administration Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Finance Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Health and Human Services Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Public and Municipal Affairs Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Rules, Enrolled Bills and Internal Affairs Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Transportation Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- Ways and Means Committee, New Hampshire State Senate
- New Hampshire General Court
- New Hampshire House of Representatives
- New Hampshire state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in New Hampshire
- Official website of the New Hampshire Senate
- Members of the New Hampshire State Senate
- Wikipedia:New Hampshire Senate
- New Hampshire General Court, "New Hampshire Senate "Fast Facts," March 2, 2009
- 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
- New Hampshire Business Review, "Taxes, workers’ comp at top of legislative agenda," January 8, 2015
- Vermont Public Radio, "New Hampshire Lawmakers Have Their Work Cut Out For Them," January 13, 2015
- The Associated Press, "Death, taxes, gambling face NH Legislature in 2014," January 5, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- New Hampshire Business Review, "Nearly 300 bills being proposed in Concord could have an impact on business," January 10, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- The Associated Press, "N.H. Legislature to convene 2014 session today," January 8, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- Sentinel Source, "After a shake-up, N.H. legislators have new issues to tackle.," January 4, 2013
- Concord Monitor, "House GOP: Jobs the focus," January 4, 2012
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 session dates for New Hampshire legislature," accessed June 9, 2014
- 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
- PEW Charitable Trusts, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed December 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- New Hampshire Secretary of State, "Qualifications," accessed December 18, 2013
- State of New Hampshire, "State Constitution-House of Representatives," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Sections, Sections 12 and 16)
- State of New Hampshire, "State Constitution-Senate," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Sections, Section 34)
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers New Hampshire's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," accessed June 9, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data," accessed June 9, 2014
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
- New Hampshire General Court, "About New Hampshire's Legislative Process," accessed June 9, 2014
- New Hampshire General Court, "New Hampshire Senate leadership," accessed June 9, 2014
State of New Hampshire
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