Difference between revisions of "Alabama State Senate"

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The [[Alabama Legislature]] has a constitutional session length limit of 105 calendar days.
 
The [[Alabama Legislature]] has a constitutional session length limit of 105 calendar days.
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===2014===
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::''See also: [[Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions]]''
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In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from February 4 through May 19.
  
 
===2013===
 
===2013===

Revision as of 18:15, 18 September 2013

Alabama State Senate

Alabama State Senate Seal.jpg
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   February 5, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Del Marsh, (R)
Majority Leader:   J. T. Waggoner, (R)
Minority leader:   Roger Bedford, (D)
Structure
Members:  35
   Democratic Party (

11) Republican Party (

23)
Independent (1)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art IV, Alabama Constitution
Salary:   $10/day + $4,308/month
Elections
Last Election:  November 2, 2010 (35 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (35 seats)
Redistricting:  Alabama Legislature has control
Meeting place:
AlabamaStateCapitolBuilding.JPG
The Alabama State Senate is the upper house of the Alabama State Legislature, the state legislature of Alabama. There are 35 state senators; they represent 35 districts each composed of an average of 136,564 residents as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 127,060.[2]

Alabama's senators serve without term limits for four-year terms.[3]

The criteria for senators under Article IV, Section 47, of the Alabama Constitution include: at least 25 years of age at the time of their election, a citizen and resident of the State of Alabama for at least 3 years, and resident of their district for at least one year prior to election.

The Lieutenant Governor of Alabama is the ex officio President of the Senate, and can cast a vote on senatorial business in the case of a tie.[4]

As of September 2014, Alabama is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

Sessions

Section 48 of Article IV of the Alabama Constitution initially set the rules for the timing and length of sessions for the Alabama State Legislature, which the Senate is a part of. However, these rules have since been changed by state statute.

The Alabama Legislature convenes in regular annual sessions on the first Tuesday in February, except during the first year of the four-year term, when the session begins on the first Tuesday in March. In the last year of a four-year term, the legislative session begins on the second Tuesday in January. The length of the regular session is limited to 30 meeting days within a period of 105 calendar days. There are usually two meeting or "legislative" days per week, with other days devoted to committee meetings.

The Governor of Alabama can call, by proclamation, special sessions of the Alabama legislature. The governor must list the subjects on which legislation will be debated upon. These sessions are limited to 12 legislative days within a 30 calendar day span. In a regular session, bills may be enacted on any subject. In a special session, legislation must be enacted only on those subjects which the governor announces on their proclamation or "call." Anything not in the "call" requires a two-thirds vote of each house to be enacted.[5]

Bills can be prefiled before sessions, starting at the end of the previous session and ending at the beginning of the session for which they are being filed. The exception to this is for sessions beginning in March every 4 years. [6]

The Alabama Legislature has a constitutional session length limit of 105 calendar days.

2014

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from February 4 through May 19.

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from February 5 through May 20.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included the general fund, maintaining Medicaid, raises for teachers, giving schools more flexibility over state policies, and gun laws.[7] Heading into the session, the general fund was estimated to be $200 million short of requests.

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in regular session from February 7 to May 16. It held a special session from May 17-24 to address redistricting.[8]

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Legislature was in session from March 1-June 9.[9]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 12th to April 12th.

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Alabama was given a grade of F 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.[10]

Elections

2010

See also: Alabama State Senate elections, 2010

All 35 Alabama state senate seats were up for re-election on November 2, 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was April 2, 2010, and the primary election day was June 1, 2010.

During the 2010 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $24,925,230. The top 10 contributors were:[11]

2010 Donors, Alabama State Senate
Donor Amount
Alabama Republican Party $1,501,385
Tennessee Valley Citizens for Economic Development $1,397,160
Alabama Education Association $868,675
Business Council of Alabama $814,500
Senate Majority PAC $636,985
Alabama Farmers Federation $591,293
Alabama Power Co $375,250
Home Builders Association of Alabama $343,500
Alabama Association of Realtors $339,133
Alabama Trial Lawyers Association $338,930

2006

See also: Alabama State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Alabama State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 6, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $24,792,035. The top 10 contributors were:[12]

2002

See also: Alabama State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Alabama State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 6, 2002 and a general election on November 7, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $15,536,155. The top 10 contributors were:[13]

Qualifications

Under Article IV, Section 47, of the Alabama Constitution, senators must be at least 25 years of age at the time of their election, must be citizens and residents of the State of Alabama for at least 3 years, and residents of their district at least one year, prior to election. [14]

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 conducted in order to fill the vacant seat. The Governor must call for a special election if the vacancy happened before next scheduled general election and the Senate is in session[15] [16]. The Governor has all discretion in setting the date of the election along with nominating deadlines[16].

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Alabama

The Alabama Legislative Committee on Reapportionment is responsible for drafting plans for redistricting in the state House and Senate.

2010 census

Census date was shipped to Alabama on February 23, 2011. The state population increased by over 300,000 residents (~7.5%).[17] 2011 was the first year in which the state's redistricting process was done using a GIS online platform.[18] The legislative maps, however, were not worked on until May 2012, and Republicans were in charge of the process for the first time since Reconstruction. Maps for both chambers were passed in a controversial special session, in which a final vote was taken in the Senate without a reading of the bill originated in the House. Soon after the plan passed in the Senate, the House approved the new plan. It next went to Gov. Robert Bentley (R) for his signature, and then had to be approved by the U.S. Justice Department.[19]

Senators

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of September 2014
     Democratic Party 11
     Republican Party 23
     Independent 1
Total 35


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

Leadership

The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate, but can only vote in the event of a tie. The President Pro Tempore is elected from the Senate membership during each organizational session and serves in the absence of the President of the Senate as well leader of the Senate and majority party.[20][21]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Alabama State Senate
Office Representative Party
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Del Marsh Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader J. T. Waggoner Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Roger Bedford Electiondot.png Democratic

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Alabama legislature are paid $10/day plus $4,308/month plus $50/day for three days during each week that the legislature actually meets during any session.[22]

Pension

Alabama does not provide pensions for legislators.[23]

When sworn in

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

Alabama's state senators assume office on midnight of the day that they are elected.

Current members

Current members, Alabama State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Tammy Irons Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
2 Bill Holtzclaw Ends.png Republican 2010
3 Arthur Orr Ends.png Republican 2006
4 Paul Bussman Ends.png Republican 2010
5 Greg Reed Ends.png Republican 2010
6 Roger Bedford Electiondot.png Democratic 1982
7 Paul Sanford Ends.png Republican 2009
8 Shadrack McGill Ends.png Republican 2010
9 Clay Scofield Ends.png Republican 2010
10 Phil Williams Ends.png Republican 2010
11 Jerry L. Fielding Ends.png Republican 2010
12 Del Marsh Ends.png Republican 1998
13 Gerald Dial Ends.png Republican 2010
14 Cam Ward Ends.png Republican 2010
15 Slade Blackwell Ends.png Republican 2010
16 J. T. Waggoner Ends.png Republican 1990
17 Scott Beason Ends.png Republican 2006
18 Rodger Smitherman Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
19 Priscilla Dunn Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
20 Linda Coleman Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
21 Gerald Allen Ends.png Republican 2010
22 Marc Keahey Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
23 Henry Sanders Electiondot.png Democratic 1982
24 Bobby Singleton Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
25 Dick L. Brewbaker Ends.png Republican 2010
26 Quinton Ross Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
27 Tom Whatley Ends.png Republican 2010
28 Billy Beasley Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
29 Harri Anne Smith Grey.png Nonpartisan 1998
30 Bryan Taylor Ends.png Republican 2010
31 Jimmy Holley Ends.png Republican 1998
32 Trip Pittman Ends.png Republican 2007
33 Vivian Figures Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
34 Rusty Glover Ends.png Republican 2006
35 Bill Hightower Ends.png Republican 2013

Senate committees

The Alabama Senate has 24 standing committees:

History

President of Senate

James Titus was the first President of the Alabama State Senate. He was elected in 1818.[24]

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
Partisan breakdown of the Alabama legislature from 1992-2013
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Alabama

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Alabama State Senate for 19 years while the Republicans were the majority for three years. The Alabama State Senate is 1 of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. However, starting with the Alabama State Senate elections in 2010, both legislative chambers took a turn toward the Republican side. Since Alabamans have elected Republican governors since November 2002, the state as of the November 2010 and 2012 elections has had a Republican trifecta.

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 have 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 Alabama, the Alabama State Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Alabama state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links

References