Utah State Senate
|Utah State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 28, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Wayne Niederhauser, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Ralph Okerlund, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Gene Davis, (D)|
| Democratic Party (5) |
Republican Party (24)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art VI, Sec 4, Utah Constitution|
|Salary:||$117/day + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (16 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Redistricting:||Redistricting Committee of the Utah Legislature|
Section 2 of Article VI of the Utah Constitution establishes that the Utah State Legislature, which the Senate is a part of, is to convene a new session every two years on the second Monday in January. This means that the "2010 session" was actually a continuation of a regular session that convened in 2009. Section 16 of Article VI limits these regular sessions to sixty legislative days, except in cases of impeachment.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 28 through March 14.
Ethics reform is expected to be a major issue in 2013 due to accusations and controversy surrounding newly elected Attorney General John Swallow (R). Adoption rights, alcohol laws and education funding are also expected to be addressed.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 23 through March 8.
Major topics included a projected $13 billion budget, improving technology for students, illegal immigration, and infrastructure improvements.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 24 through March 10.  A single day special session was called by Governor Gary Herbert for July 27, to consider several issues, including adjustments to health insurance rates, liquor commission guidelines, judicial evaluations, and adopting another resolution supporting a federal balanced budget amendment. Gov. Herbert has called for a second special session this year, set for the week of October 3. During that week, the legislature will cover redistricting issues.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
- See also: Utah State Senate elections, 2012
The signature filing deadline for the elections was March 16, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Utah State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 1||Luz Robles||10.6%||18,969||Chelsea Woodruff|
|District 8||Brian Shiozawa||13.6%||39,020||Josie Valdez|
|District 6||Wayne Harper||20.9%||33,010||John Rendell|
|District 19||Allen Christensen||26.9%||32,835||Peter Conover Clemens|
|District 23||Todd Weiler||28.9%||39,460||Breck England|
|District 27||David Hinkins||44.4%||34,784||Michael Binyon|
|District 29||Stephen Urquhart||54.1%||36,572||Terence Moore|
|District 16||Curtis Bramble||57.7%||24,534||Gregory Duerden|
|District 28||Evan Vickers||65.3%||33,967||Geoffrey Chesnut|
|District 24||Ralph Okerlund||72.9%||34,235||Trestin Meacham|
- See also: Utah State Senate elections, 2010
Utah State Senate elections were held in 15 of Utah's 29 senate districts on November 2, 2010. The 15 districts where electoral contests took place in 2010 are: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22, 26 and 28 .
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 19, 2010 and the primary election day was June 22, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $1,612,394 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Utah State Senate|
|Utah Association of Realtors||$84,000|
|Senate Republican Campaign Cmte of Utah||$83,315|
|2006 Mayne Candidate Account||$60,248|
|Utah State Senate Democrats||$46,000|
|Sorensen, Beverly T||$39,500|
|Utah Republican Party||$37,453|
|Reagan Outdoor Advertising||$31,487|
|Workers Compensation Fund of Utah||$30,950|
|Consumer Lending Alliance||$25,500|
To be eligible to serve in the Utah State Senate, a candidate must be:
- A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
- 25 years old at the filing deadline time
- A three-year resident of Utah at the filing deadline time
- A resident for 6 months of the senate district from which elected at the filing deadline time
- No person holding any public office of profit or trust under authority of the United States, or of this State, can be a member of the state senate, provided, that appointments in the State Militia, and the offices of notary public, justice of the peace, United States commissioner, and postmaster of the fourth class, shall not, within the meaning of this section, be considered offices of profit or trust.
- A qualified voter. A qualified voter is someone who is:
- * A U.S. citizen
- * A resident of Utah for at least 30 days prior to the next election
- * At least 18 years old by the next election
- * His or her principal place of residence is in a specific voting precinct in Utah.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Governor is responsible for selecting a replacement. A liaison for the political party that last held the seat must recommend a successor to the Governor. The vacancy must be filled immediately. The person who is selected to the vacant seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.
If the vacancy happens after the nomination deadline in a election year, a new candidate must file papers in order to be on the ballot. This is only if the vacancy happens after September 1st and the unfilled term is set to expire at the end of the election. Nominating papers must be filed within 21 days after the vacancy happened.
- See also: Redistricting in Utah
The Legislature handles legislative redistricting, with the Governor holding veto power.
Utah received its local census data on February 24, 2011. The state showed a 23.8 percent growth rate, with no county losing population. The largest cities showed mixed growth: Salt Lake City grew by 2.6 percent, West Valley City grew by 18.9 percent, Provo grew by 7.0 percent, West Jordan grew by 51.8 percent, and Orem grew by 4.7 percent. The counties were more impressive: Salt Lake grew by 14.6 percent, Utah grew 40.2 percent, Davis grew by 28.2 percent, Weber grew by 17.7 percent, and Washington grew by 52.9 percent.
Utah's 2011 redistricting process went relatively smoothly, with the Republican controlled Legislature overwhelmingly passing new maps on October 4. Governor Gary Herbert (R) signed the maps on October 19. However, the Legislature approved, and the Governor signed into law, revisions to the maps in late January 2012 after errors were discovered.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Utah Legislature are paid $117/day. Legislators receive $96/day for lodging each calendar day, tied to the federal rate. They also receive $61/day for meals.
When sworn in
Utah legislators assume office the first or second day of session (January).
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2013|
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Utah State Senate from 1992-2013.
The presiding officer of the Senate is the President of the Senate and is selected by the majority party caucus. The majority and minority leaders are selected by their respective party caucuses.
List of current members
The Utah Senate has 12 standing committees:
- Business and Labor
- Economic Development and Workforce Services
- Government Operations and Political Subdivisions
- Health and Human Services
- Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice
- Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment
- Retirement and Independent Entities
- Revenue and Taxation
- Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology
Before the Seventeenth Amendment was adopted in 1913, the U.S. Senators were elected by the state House of Representatives rather than by popular vote. In 1899, this became a problem when the Utah House of Representatives could not come up with a majority vote for the second Senate seat by the end of the session, and the Senate President Aquila Nebeker, declared the session over and the seat vacant. The result was that the state of Utah lost a vote in the Senate for several years.
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Utah State Senate. The Utah State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Utah was under Republican trifectas for all 22 years.
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.
- Official website of the Utah State Senate
- Official list of Utah State Senators
- Utah State Senate on Wikipedia
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ FOX 13, "Adoption and alcohol likely topics for Utah legislative session," January 21, 2013
- ↑ Salt Lake Tribune, "Call them the Swallow Reforms," January 24, 2013
- ↑ Salt Lake Tribune, "Top issues to watch in the upcoming Utah Legislature," January 21, 2012
- ↑ 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ StateScape, Session Updates, July 22, 2011
- ↑ ABC4.com, Governor calls Redistricting Special Session, Aug. 31, 2011
- ↑ South Carolina Policy Council "50 State Legislative Session Interactive Map," February 2011
- ↑ 2010 session dates for Utah Legislature
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Utah Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Qualifications for running for Utah Senate
- ↑ Utah Legislature "Utah Code"(Referenced Statutes 20A-1-503 (3) (a)-(b))
- ↑ Utah Legislature "Utah Code"(Referenced Statutes 20A-1-503 (4)(a))
- ↑ U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Utah's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," February 24, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ Organization of the Utah Legislature
- ↑ Utah State Senate Leadership
- ↑ Utah Senate History
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Salt Lake City (capital)
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