Arizona State Senate
|Arizona State Senate|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2015 session start:||January 12, 2015|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Andy Biggs (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Steve Yarbrough (R)|
|Minority leader:||Katie Hobbs (D)|
Democratic Party (13)
Republican Party (17)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art 4, Arizona Constitution|
|Salary:||$24,000/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (30 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (30 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Senate committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of February 2015, Arizona is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Arizona Constitution establishes when the Arizona State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 3 of the Second Part of the Article contains the relevant provisions. It states that sessions are to convene on the second Monday of January of each year.
Section 3 also allows the Governor of Arizona to call special sessions of the Legislature.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature is in session from January 12 through mid-April.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 13 to May 1.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included student success-based K-12 funding, university funding.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through June 14.
Losing super-majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans no longer wielded the same level of power and compromises were more likely. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said her legislative priorities included education standards and simplifying the state's transaction privilege tax.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Legislature was in regular session from January 10 through May 3.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 10 through April 20. Three special sessions were called in Arizona for 2011. The first special session was convened on January 19, addressing requests for a federal Medicaid exemption. A second special session was called by Governor Jan Brewer on February 14, 2011. The special session will run in tandem with the regular session, and was convened to consider business tax cuts as part of an economic development package proposed to add jobs by encouraging businesses to expand and relocate in Arizona. The third special session was convened on June 10 to extend unemployment benefits. The session lasted two days, and ended on June 13 without a vote on Governor Brewer's proposal. Brewer refuses to call another special session until lawmakers support the unemployment extension.
In the 2011 session, Arizona fixed its $1.5 billion shortfall by eliminating $1.1 billion in spending. There were no new taxes instated to help with the reductions, only tax cuts. The legislature sliced the corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate was in regular session from January 11th to April 29th. The Legislature was also convened in special session since February 1st.
Role in state budget
- See also: Arizona state budget
- Budget instructions are sent to state agencies on June 1 of the year preceding the start of the new biennium
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor by September 1.
- Agency hearings are held in November and December.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in January.
- From January through April, the legislature debates the budget. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
The governor is required by law to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.
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. Arizona was one of 11 states that made rare use of cost-benefit analyses in policy and budget processes.
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. According to the report, Arizona received a grade of B and a numerical score of 84, indicating that Arizona was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Arizona was given a grade of C 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.
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2014
Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 28, 2014.
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2012
State senate seats in all 30 districts were on the ballot in 2012. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 30, 2012 and the primary election day was August 28, 2012. The general election took place on November 6, 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 Arizona Senate held a supermajority, which Democrats looked to cut into.
In the general election on November 6, 2012 Democrats were able to pick up four seats, reducing the Republican majority from the supermajority it had prior the election at 21-9 to a majority of 17-13 after the election.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Arizona State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 8||Barbara McGuire||2.9%||51,138||Joe Ortiz|
|District 6||Chester Crandell||6.1%||85,038||Tom Chabin|
|District 18||John McComish||6.2%||96,199||Janie Hydrick|
|District 10||David Bradley||9.4%||88,702||Frank Antenori|
|District 28||Adam Driggs||11.2%||88,403||Eric Shelley|
|District 9||Steve Farley||11.5%||89,380||Tyler Mott|
|District 11||Al Melvin||12.8%||85,795||Jo Holt|
|District 26||Ed Ableser||13.7%||48,240||Jerry Lewis|
|District 20||Kimberly Yee||14.2%||73,187||Michael Powell|
|District 17||Steve Yarbrough||14.4%||84,930||Bill Gates|
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2010
State senate seats in all 30 districts were on the ballot in 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 26, 2010, and the primary election day was August 24, 2010. The general election was on November 2, 2010.
In Arizona, senators serve two-year terms with a four consecutive term limit.
In 2010, candidates running for the state senate received a total of $2,954,711 in campaign contributions. Their top contributors were:
|2010 Donors, Arizona State Senate|
|Arizona Association of Realtors||$19,424|
|Arizona Medical Association||$10.580|
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 2, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $3,185,493. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Arizona State Senate|
|Pierce, Stephen M||$227,977|
|Friends of John Nelson 2006||$40,631|
|Arizona Association of Realtors||$26,956|
|Elect Russell Pearce||$23,393|
|Home Builders Association of Central Arizona||$8,900|
|Arizona Medical Association||$8,432|
|Salt River Project||$8,200|
|Arizona Education Association||$7,750|
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Arizona 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 Senate candidates was $2,571,504. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Arizona State Senate|
|Hall, Doug & Karen||$50,000|
|Arizona Association of Realtors||$14,354|
|Ohalleran, Michael D||$13,523|
|Salt River Project||$8,496|
|Arizona Education Association||$5,512|
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 7, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $2,274,490. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Arizona State Senate|
|Vecchiarelli, Mary Jo||$27,359|
|Arizona Association of Realtors||$11,742|
|Salt River Project||$8,250|
|Home Builders Association of Central Arizona||$5,780|
|Arizona Optometric Association||$5,440|
|Arizona Democratic Party||$5,008|
|Arizona Dental Association||$4,940|
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Arizona 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 Senate candidates was $2,149,412. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Arizona State Senate|
|Smith, David Burnell||$60,685|
|Daniels, Lori S||$38,202|
|Bennett, Cmte to Elect Ken||$26,286|
|Burns, Cmte to Elect Robert Bob||$12,606|
|Arizona Association of Realtors||$11,140|
|Salt River Project||$8,920|
|Home Builders Association of Central Arizona||$6,770|
- See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $2,127,230. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Arizona State Senate|
|Arizona Republican Party||$44,479|
|Arizona Senate Democratic Campaign Cmte||$23,151|
|Daniels, Lori S||$23,000|
|Bowers Election Cmte||$22,098|
Article 4, Part 2, Section 2 of the Arizona Constitution states: No person shall be a member of the Legislature unless he shall be a citizen of the United States at the time of his election, nor unless he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and shall have been a resident of Arizona at least three years and of the county from which he is elected at least one year before his election.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the Arizona Legislature, the Board of County Supervisors must select a replacement. The political party committee is involved in the appointment process only if the legislative district has thirty or more elected precinct committeemen.
If the legislative district has 30 or more elected precinct committeemen:
The secretary of state is required to contact the state party chairperson to give notice of the vacancy. The state chairperson must give notice of a meeting to fill the seat within three days of receiving notice.
The precinct committeemen must nominate three qualified electors as replacements. If the Legislature is in session, this must occur within five days. If the Legislature is out of session, the committeemen have 21 days to nominate potential replacements. Each elector must receive a majority of the committeemen to earn a nomination. The chair then forwards the three nominees to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors appoints a nominee from the three names. If the committeemen do not submit a list of names within the allotted timeframe, the Board of Supervisors proceed with the vacancy as if the district had fewer than 30 elected precinct committeemen.
If the legislative district has fewer than 30 elected precinct committeemen:
The Board of County Supervisors appoints a panel of citizen supervisors within three business days of a vacancy occurring. That panel has seven business days to submit the name of three qualified electors of the same political party as the previous incumbent to the Board of Supervisors. Within five business days of receiving the list, the Board of Supervisors must select a replacement by a majority vote.
The person selected to fill the seat serves the remainder of the unfilled term.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Arizona legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Arizona Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Arizona senators are subject to term limits of no more than four two-year terms, or a total of eight years.
- See also: Redistricting in Arizona
Since the passing of Proposition 106 in 2000, redistricting has been handled by the five-member Independent Redistricting Commission, consisting of two Republicans, two Democrats, and one independent.
Arizona received its census data on March 9, 2011. Although the state grew by almost 25 percent -- second in the nation to Nevada's 35 percent -- some population areas did not meet growth expectations.
Overall, the population figures showed large growth in Arizona's Hispanic population. The white population fell from 65.1 percent to 59.4 percent, while the Hispanic population grew from 25 percent to 30 percent. Across the state, the suburbs grew faster than major cities.
On December 20, 2011, the Commission approved new maps along party lines; all of this came after Republicans suggested that the commission be abolished, and its chairwoman was effectively removed by Governor Jan Brewer and subsequently reinstated by the Arizona Supreme Court.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
Arizona state senators are paid $24,000/year. They are also paid a per diem of $35/day for the first 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and $10/day thereafter. Senators who live outside of Maricopa County are given an additional $25/day for the 1st 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and an additional $10/day thereafter.
When sworn in
Arizona legislators assume office on the first day of the session after they are elected. Each regular session begins on the second Monday in January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of February 2015|
The Arizona State Senate has 16 standing committees:
- Commerce and Workforce Development
- Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility
- Financial Institutions
- Health and Human Services
- Natural Resources
- Public Safety, Military and Technology
- Rural Affairs and Environment
- State Debt and Budget Reform
- Water and Energy
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013 the Republican Party was the majority in the Arizona State Senate for 20 years while the Democrats were never the majority. The Arizona State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. The Arizona senate spent the last 11 years under the control of the Republican party. During the final five years of the study, Arizona was under Republican trifectas.
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.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Arizona 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. Arizona had Republican trifectas between 1993 and 2001 and between 2009 and 2013, but no Democratic trifectas during the period of the study. Between these two trifectas, Arizona had divided government. In three separate years, Arizona ranked in the bottom-10 in the SQLI ranking, two of which occurred under Republican trifectas (1996 and 1997) and the other during divided government (2002). Arizona’s highest SQLI ranking occurred in 2006 (16th), under divided government, while its lowest ranking (41st) occurred in 2002 under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 36.33
- SQLI average with divided government: 27.22
- Official website of the Arizona State Senate
- Official list of the current members of the Arizona State Senate
- Wikipedia:Arizona Senate
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed January 6, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- Arizona State Legislature, "Term limits," accessed December 16, 2013
- news.azpm.org, "Education, CPS Issues Expected to Top 2014 Legislative Session," January 13, 2014
- Cronkite News, "Brewer, top legislators: Education, businesses priorities for session," January 11, 2013
- StateScape, Session schedules," accessed April 30, 2012
- Timesunion.com, Ariz. Legislature ends session after all-nighter, 20 April 2011
- KTAR.com, Arizona governor calls special session on economy, 14 Feb. 2011
- Bloomberg Businessweek, Ariz. Gov won't seek session without bill backing, June 15, 2011
- Stateline.org, States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes, June 15, 2011 (Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Arizona Daily Sun, "Democrats shrink GOP's majority in Arizona Senate" accessed November 14, 2012
- Follow the Money: "Arizona 2010 Senate Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Arizona 2008 Candidates," accessed April 10, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arizona 2006 Candidates," accessed April 10, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arizona 2004 Candidates," accessed April 10, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arizona 2002 Candidates," accessed April 10, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arizona 2000 Candidates," accessed April 10, 2013
- Arizona Legislature, "Arizona Revised Statutes," accessed May 22, 2014(Referenced Statute 41.1202 (A), Arizona Revised Statutes)
- Arizona Legislature, "Arizona Revised Statutes," accessed May 22, 2014(Referenced Statute 41.1202 (B), Arizona Revised Statutes)
- The Republic, "First details on Arizona race and population location from 2010 census coming Thursday," March 9, 2011
- USA Today, "Arizona grows but at slower rate," March 13, 2011
- Fox News Latino, "Arizona's Latino Population Up a Whopping 46%, Says Census," March 10, 2011
- Yuma Sun Arizonans moving to the 'burbs," March 10, 2011
- Arizona State Senate Rules
- Arizona State Senate Leadership
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
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