North Carolina State Senate
|North Carolina State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 9, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Dan Forest, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Harry Brown, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Martin Nesbitt, (D)|
| Democratic Party (17) |
Republican Party (33)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Sec. 2, North Carolina Constitution|
|Salary:||$13,951/year + per diem + expenses|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (50 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (50 seats)|
|Redistricting:||North Carolina Legislature has control|
Section 11 of Article II of the North Carolina Constitution establishes that the North Carolina General Assembly, which the Senate is a part of, is to convene a new regular session every two years, and that the dates for these sessions are to be set by law. Sessions in the General Assembly of North Carolina last two years and begin on odd numbered years after elections. Sessions begin at noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through July 1 (estimated).
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate convened on May 16 and adjourned July 3.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 26 through mid June.  A special session dealing with redistricting began July 13 and ended July 28. The redistricting session covered more than just redistricting, with Republicans overriding five of Governor Perdue's vetoes. Some of the overturned vetoes include the Women's Right to Know Act and state regulatory overhaul. Democratic lawmakers achieved victory in sustaining the veto on the voter I.D. bill. 
A second special session was called for September 12 to consider constitutional amendments, including a potential ban on same-sex marriage.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
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 North Carolina Senate have a solid majority and are seeking 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, North Carolina State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 1||William Cook||0%||87,449||Stan White|
|District 12||Ronald Rabin||2%||74,146||Brad Salmon|
|District 25||Gene McLaurin||6%||84,066||Gene McIntyre|
|District 17||Tamara Barringer||7.3%||106,399||Erv Portman|
|District 19||Wesley Meredith||7.8%||69,244||George Tatum|
|District 9||Thomas Goolsby||8.3%||97,772||Deb Butler|
|District 18||Chad Barefoot||11.8%||92,770||Doug Berger|
|District 47||Ralph Hise||12.9%||82,214||Phil Feagan|
|District 50||Jim Davis||14.2%||88,294||John Snow|
|District 46||Warren Daniel||14.7%||78,457||John T. McDevitt|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 26, 2010. The primary election day was May 4, 2010. The second primary election was held on June 22, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $18,614,595 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, North Carolina State Senate|
|North Carolina Republican Party||$2,171,725|
|North Carolina Democratic Party||$1,851,252|
|North Carolina Democratic Party Caucus||$562,126|
|Bordeaux, Frankie L||$477,675|
|North Carolina Republican Senate Caucus||$360,908|
|North Carolina Democratic Party Senate Caucus||$350,810|
|North Carolina Republican Party Senatorial Trust||$245,781|
|Goolsby, Thomas C||$169,316|
|North Carolina Medical Society||$154,500|
Article 2, Section 6 of the North Carolina Constitution states: Each Senator, at the time of his election, shall be not less than 25 years of age, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the State as a citizen for two years and in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Governor is responsible for selecting a replacement . When making the appointment, the Governor must make the selection from a list of recommended candidates submitted by the political party committee that holds the vacant seat. The appointment must be made by the Governor within seven days of receiving the list of recommended candidates. The person selected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.
- See also: Redistricting in North Carolina
Redistricting is the responsibility of the State Legislature. The Governor does not hold veto power. North Carolina is one of 16 states whose maps require approval from the U.S. Department of Justice per the Voting Rights Act.
North Carolina received its local census data on March 1, 2011, showing concentration of population and political power in cities, particularly Charlotte and Raleigh. The Republican-controlled redistricting process began proper on July 11, 2011, when Republicans released their proposed maps. Each chamber's final map passed through the General Assembly on July 27, 2011. The DOJ pre-cleared the plan on November 1, 2011, but lawsuits followed, as Democrats and community charged that Republicans had illegally packed black voters to weaken their voting power.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the North Carolina Legislature are paid $13,951/year. Per diem is $104/day set by statute. Legislators are allowed up to $559/month for expenses.
When sworn in
North Carolina legislators assume office the first day of the new General Assembly in January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2013|
The Lieutenant Governor of the State serves as President of the Senate, but can only vote in the event of a tie. The Senate elects other officers from their members, including a President pro tempore. The President pro tempore then appoints members to serve on the standing committee.
Senate standing committees
The North Carolina Senate has 18 standing committees:
- Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Appropriations/Base Budget Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Commerce Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Committee of the Whole Senate, North Carolina State Senate
- Education/Higher Education Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Finance Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Health Care Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Insurance Committee
- Judiciary I Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Judiciary II Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Pensions & Retirement & Aging Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Program Evaluation
- Rules and Operations of the Senate Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- State and Local Government Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Transportation Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- Ways & Means Committee, North Carolina State Senate
- North Carolina Senate official webpage
- Official list of members of the North Carolina State Senate
- North Carolina General Assembly
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ "North Carolina Senate" About the Senate, March 3, 2009
- ↑ N.C. Gen. Stat. 120-11.1
- ↑ WRAL, "Ceremony marks opening of legislative session," January 9, 2013
- ↑ 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Newsobserver.com, NC lawmakers leave town after new maps, overrides, July 28, 2011
- ↑ 2010 session dates for North Carolina legislature
- ↑ Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- ↑ Follow the Money: "North Carolina Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ North Carolina General Assembly "North Carolina Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article II, Section 10)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 North Carolina General Assembly "North Carolina General Statutes(Referenced Statute 163-11(a), NC General Statutes)
- ↑ North Carolina General Assembly "North Carolina General Statutes(Referenced Statute 163-11(b-d), NC General Statutes)
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ Structure of the North Carolina General Assembly
- ↑ North Carolina Senate Leadership 2009-2010
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