New Hampshire State Senate

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New Hampshire State Senate

Seal of New Hampshire.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 8, 2014
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Chuck Morse (R)
Majority Leader:   Jeb Bradley (R)
Minority leader:   Sylvia Larsen (D)
Structure
Members:  24
   Vacancy (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   General Court, Art 3, Sec. 3, New Hampshire Constitution
Salary:   $100/year
Elections
Last Election:  November 4, 2014 (24 seats)
Next election:  November 8, 2016 (24 seats)
Redistricting:  New Hampshire Legislature has control
Meeting place:
Senate Chamber.JPG
The New Hampshire State Senate is the upper body of the New Hampshire State Legislature. The Senate meets at the State Capitol in Concord.

The Senate is made up of 24 members who are elected every two years. They are not subject to term limits.

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.[1] Each member represents an average of 54,853 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 51,491 residents.[3]

As of November 2014, New Hampshire is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

See also: New Hampshire State Legislature, New Hampshire House of Representatives, New Hampshire Governor

Sessions

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.

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the General Court was in session from January 8 through June 13.

Major issues

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.[4][5][6]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Court was in session from January 2 to July 1.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included the state's budget deficit, education funding, state pensions, and abortion.[7]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through June 27.

Major issues

Major issues on the agenda included economic development, job creation, same-sex marriage, and gambling.[8]

2011

In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5 through July 1.[9]

2010

In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 6 to July 1.[10]

Role in state budget

See also: New Hampshire state budget

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[11][12]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August.
  2. State agencies submit their requests by October 1.
  3. Agency hearings and public hearings are held in November.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Hampshire State Legislature by February 15.
  5. The legislature adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
  6. The biennial budget cycle begins in July.

New Hampshire is one of only six states in which the governor cannot exercise line item veto authority.[12]

In New Hampshire, the governor is required by statute to submit a balanced budget. However, the legislature is not required by law to pass a balanced budget.[12]

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. New Hampshire was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.[13]

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.[14] 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.[14]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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 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.[15]

Elections

2014

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2014

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.

2012

Se also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate were held in New Hampshire on November 6, 2012. A total of 24 seats were up for election. The signature filing deadline was June 15, 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 New Hampshire Senate currently have a supermajority, which Democrats are seeking to cut into.[16]

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

2010

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of New Hampshire's State Senate were held in New Hampshire on November 2, 2010.

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:[17]

2008

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2008

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:[18]

2006

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2006

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:[19]

2004

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2004

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:[20]

2002

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2002

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:[21]

2000

See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2000

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:[22]

Qualifications

To be eligible to serve in the New Hampshire Senate, a candidate must be:[23]

  • 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

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

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.[24][25]

History

  • 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.

Protestant property-owners

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

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, New Hampshire
Partisan breakdown of the New Hampshire legislature from 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.

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

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
Chart displaying the partisanship of the New Hampshire government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in New Hampshire

Redistricting in New Hampshire is handled by the General Court, with the Governor wielding veto power.

2010 census

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.[26]

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.

Senators

Salaries

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.[27]

Pension

New Hampshire does not provide pensions for legislators.[28]

When sworn in

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

New Hampshire legislators assume office the month after elections (December).

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of November 2014
     Democratic Party 11
     Republican Party 12
     Vacancy 1
Total 24


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

Leadership

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.[29][30]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, New Hampshire State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Chuck Morse Ends.png Republican
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Bob Odell Ends.png Republican
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley Ends.png Republican
Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, New Hampshire State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Jeff Woodburn Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
2 Jeanie Forrester Ends.png Republican 2010
3 Jeb Bradley Ends.png Republican 2009
4 David Watters Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
5 David Pierce Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
6 Sam Cataldo Ends.png Republican 2012
7 Andrew Hosmer Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
8 Bob Odell Ends.png Republican 2002
9 Andy Sanborn Ends.png Republican 2012
10 Molly Kelly Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
11 Vacant
12 Peggy Gilmour Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
13 Bette Lasky Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
14 Sharon Carson Ends.png Republican 2008
15 Sylvia Larsen Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
16 David Boutin Ends.png Republican 2010
17 John Reagan Ends.png Republican 2012
18 Donna Soucy Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
19 Jim Rausch Ends.png Republican 2010
20 Lou D'Allesandro Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
21 Martha Fuller Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
22 Chuck Morse Ends.png Republican 2010
23 Russell Prescott Ends.png Republican 2010
24 Nancy Stiles Ends.png Republican 2010

Senate Standing Committees

The New Hampshire State Senate has 11 standing committees:

See also

External links

References

  1. New Hampshire General Court, "New Hampshire Senate "Fast Facts," March 2, 2009
  2. census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  3. census.gov, "Census 2000 PHC-T-2. Ranking Tables for States: 1990 and 2000," accessed May 15, 2014
  4. The Associated Press, "Death, taxes, gambling face NH Legislature in 2014," January 5, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
  5. New Hampshire Business Review, "Nearly 300 bills being proposed in Concord could have an impact on business," January 10, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
  6. The Associated Press, "N.H. Legislature to convene 2014 session today," January 8, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
  7. Sentinel Source, "After a shake-up, N.H. legislators have new issues to tackle.," January 4, 2013
  8. Concord Monitor, "House GOP: Jobs the focus," January 4, 2012
  9. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
  10. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 session dates for New Hampshire legislature," accessed June 9, 2014
  11. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  13. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  15. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  16. Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
  17. Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed December 17, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
  19. Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
  20. Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
  21. Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
  22. Follow the Money, "New Hampshire 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
  23. New Hampshire Secretary of State, "Qualifications," accessed December 18, 2013
  24. State of New Hampshire, "State Constitution-House of Representatives," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Sections, Sections 12 and 16)
  25. State of New Hampshire, "State Constitution-Senate," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Sections, Section 34)
  26. 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
  27. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data," accessed June 9, 2014
  28. USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
  29. New Hampshire General Court, "About New Hampshire's Legislative Process," accessed June 9, 2014
  30. New Hampshire General Court, "New Hampshire Senate leadership," accessed June 9, 2014