New York State Senate
|New York State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 9, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:|| Dean Skelos, (R)|
Jeffrey Klein, (D)
|Majority Leader:|| Dean Skelos, (R)|
Jeffrey Klein, (D)
|Minority leader:||Andrea Stewart-Cousins, (D)|
| Democratic Party (33) |
Republican Party (30)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Sec. 3, New York Constitution|
|Salary:||$79,500/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (63 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (63 seats)|
|Redistricting:||New York Legislature has control|
Both Senators and Assembly members are elected on even numbered years for two-year terms without term limits. In a 1964 federal court order, issued pursuant to a reapportionment case, legislators elected in 1964 and 1965 were limited to one-year terms, but two-year terms commenced again with the 1966 election.
Article III of the New York Constitution outlines the legislative power for New York's government. Article III does not limit when the New York State Legislature, which the Senate is a part of, can convene in regular session. However, Section 18 of Article III does contain provisions related to special sessions of the Legislature. Section 18 states that a special session can be called by a petition of request from two-thirds of both legislative houses.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through December 31 (estimated).
Gun control tops the list to be addressed by legislators in 2013. Other major issues include raising the minimum wage, securing federal dollars for victims of Superstorm Sandy, education, job creation, legalizing casinos off of Native American lands, and restrictions to the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk procedures.
Following the December 14, 2012 school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, Gov. Cuomo sought to make gun control a major issue in 2013. To that end, one of the first things the Legislature did in its 2013 session was to pass a tougher assault weapons ban that includes restrictions on ammunition and the sale of guns, as well as provisions to keep guns from the mentally ill who make threats. New York was the first state to pass new laws after the tragedy.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through June 22.
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5 through a date to be determined by the Legislature. 
In 2010, the Senate convened its regular session on January 6. The Legislature remained in regular session throughout the year. Additionally, the Legislature was in an ongoing special session, which convened in 2009, dealing with issues of deficit reduction.
- See also: New York State Senate elections, 2012
The signature filing deadline was July 12, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, New York State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 46||Cecilia F. Tkaczyk||0%||126,245||George Amedore|
|District 41||Terry W. Gipson||1.7%||122,328||Stephen Saland|
|District 40||Greg Ball||2.1%||127,316||Justin R. Wagner|
|District 7||Jack Martins||3.6%||112,026||Daniel S. Ross|
|District 6||Kemp Hannon||3.9%||113,225||Ryan E. Cronin|
|District 55||Ted O'Brien||4%||134,592||Sean Hanna|
|District 39||William Larkin||4.9%||104,667||Christopher W. Eachus|
|District 4||Philip Boyle||5.2%||103,263||Ricardo Montano|
|District 37||George Latimer||8.1%||118,810||Bob Cohen|
|District 43||Kathleen A. Marchione||10.7%||128,807||Robin Andrews|
- See also: New York State Senate elections, 2010
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was July 22, 2010. The primary election day was September 14, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $48,466,031 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, New York State Senate|
|Democratic Senate Campaign Cmte of New York||$2,736,038|
|Senate Republican Campaign Cmte of New York||$2,634,450|
|1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East||$419,400|
|New York State Trial Lawyers||$407,700|
|New York State United Teachers||$391,010|
|Democratic Senate Campaign Cmte of Colorado||$326,262|
|New York State Correctional Officers||$273,600|
|Nassau County Republican Cmte||$250,000|
|New York State AFL-CIO||$194,160|
Article 3, Section 7 of the New York Constitution states: No person shall serve as a member of the legislature unless he or she is a citizen of the United States and has been a resident of the state of New York for five years, and, except as hereinafter otherwise prescribed, of the assembly or senate district for the twelve months immediately preceding his or her election; if elected a senator or member of assembly at the first election next ensuing after a readjustment or alteration of the senate or assembly districts becomes effective, a person, to be eligible to serve as such, must have been a resident of the county in which the senate or assembly district is contained for the twelve months immediately preceding his or her election. No member of the legislature shall, during the time for which he or she was elected, receive any civil appointment from the governor, the governor and the senate, the legislature or from any city government, to an office which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.
| 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. An election can be held as long the vacancy happened before April 1st in an election year. The person elected to fill the vacant seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: Redistricting in New York
The New York Legislature is responsible for redistricting. While there is a six person commission on redistricting, known as the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR), it only acts in an advisory role. The final deal must meet with approval from the Department of Justice.
New York received its 2010 census data on March 23, 2011. The state's growth rate was at 2.19%, well below the national rate of 9.7%. Redistricting became a major issue in the state prior to the November 2010 elections. Going into the elections, the organization NY Uprising asked all candidates to sign a pledge to support nonpartisan redistricting during the following legislative session. A majority of those who won in both chambers signed the pledge. Additionally, Governor Andrew Cuomo consistently reiterated his pledge to veto any new maps that were not drawn through a non-partisan process. Meanwhile, Republicans added more friction to the process in September 2011 when they were said to be considering adding a 63rd seat to the Senate. Democrats balked, saying it didn't make sense to add a seat in the chamber when slow population growth caused the state to lose seats in Congress.
The two sides battled over the issue of redistricting during the entire 2011 session. Following a number of delays, LATFOR released proposed Senate and Assembly maps on January 26, 2012. The Senate plan included the additional 63rd seat. Gov. Cuomo continued to threaten to veto the maps, but began to tone down his rhetoric. On March 11, LATFOR filed a bill of their final plans, which closely resembled the maps they released two months earlier. Along with this, leaders offered a constitutional amendment that would set up a new bipartisan commission on redistricting following the next census in 2020. Following a walkout of Senate Democrats, the bill passed. Later that week the constitutional amendment passed. However, in order to become law, it must be passed by the next separately elected legislature and also approved by voters in a referendum. With that approved, Cuomo stated, "It’s over once and for all"  and signed the maps into law.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2012, members of the New York Legislature are paid $79,500/year and per diem of $61/half day and $171/full day. Per diem varies and is tied to the federal rate. 
Some legislators in New York are able to begin collecting a state pension while still serving in office and also receiving their normal salary. Under state law, if a lawmaker took office prior to 1995, they are eligible to begin collecting an annual pension once they turn 65. Those who took office after 1994 are not able to collect a pension while still in office. As of 2011, Rep. Herman Farrell (D) was the highest-paid state legislator, collecting his $113,500 salary as well as a pension of $81,619.
When sworn in
New York legislators assume office January 1st.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2013|
List of current members
Senate Standing Committees
The New York Senate has 34 standing committees:
- Aging Committee, New York State Senate
- Agriculture Committee, New York State Senate
- Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, New York State Senate
- Banks Committee, New York State Senate
- Children and Families Committee, New York State Senate
- Cities Committee, New York State Senate
- Civil Service and Pensions Committee, New York State Senate
- Codes Committee, New York State Senate
- Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, New York State Senate
- Consumer Protection Committee, New York State Senate
- Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, New York State Senate
- Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, New York State Senate
- Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee, New York State Senate
- Education Committee, New York State Senate
- Elections Committee, New York State Senate
- Energy and Telecommunications Committee, New York State Senate
- Environmental Conservation Committee, New York State Senate
- Ethics Committee, New York State Senate
- Finance Committee, New York State Senate
- Health Committee, New York State Senate
- Higher Education Committee, New York State Senate
- Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee, New York State Senate
- Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, New York State Senate
- Insurance Committee, New York State Senate
- Investigations and Government Operations Committee, New York State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, New York State Senate
- Labor Committee, New York State Senate
- Local Government Committee, New York State Senate
- Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, New York State Senate
- Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, New York State Senate
- Rules Committee, New York State Senate
- Social Services Committee, New York State Senate
- Transportation Committee, New York State Senate
- Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, New York State Senate
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New York State Senate for two years while the Republicans were the majority for 20 years. The New York State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 544 Democratic and 517 Republican State Senates from 1992-2013.
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.
- The official website of the New York State Senate
- Official list of New York State Senators
- New York State Senate on Wikipedia
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ "New York State Senate" Frequently Asked Questions, March 3, 2009
- ↑ Spokesman Review, "NY legislative leaders buckle down on gun controls," January 9, 2013
- ↑ Seattle PI, "NY seals 1st state gun laws since Newtown massacre," January 15, 2013
- ↑ Poughkeepsie Journal, "Divisive issues to test Cuomo's popularity in 2nd year," January 9, 2012
- ↑ 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ 2010 session dates for New York Legislature
- ↑ Follow the Money: "New York Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ New York State Legislature "New York State Public Officers Law"(Referenced Statute § 42 (4))
- ↑ New York Legislature "New York State Public Officers Law"(Referenced Statute § 38)
- ↑ New York Observer, "Backgrounder: How Redistricting Will Reshape New York's Battle Lines," December 27, 2010
- ↑ The Epoch Times, "New York Loses House Seats After 2010 Census," December 22, 2010
- ↑ Auburn Pub, "Koch expects legislators to deliver on pledge," January 2, 2011
- ↑ New York 1 "Advocates air concerns over NY's redistricting process," December 14, 2010
- ↑ New York Daily News, "State Senate Republicans mull adding extra seat to 62-member body," September 19, 2011
- ↑ New York Daily News, "Gov. Andrew Cuomo vows to veto Republicans' redistricting plan," January 26, 2012
- ↑ Syracuse.com, "New York releases its final redistricting maps for state Senate and Assembly districts," March 12, 2012
- ↑ Reuters, "New York lawmakers approve redistricting amendment," March 15, 2012
- ↑ Capital New York, "Cuomo says redistricting is fixed, and on transparency: 'You can't live your life in a goldfish bowl'," March 15, 2012
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- ↑ USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
- ↑ New York State Senate Leadership
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