Difference between revisions of "Georgia State Senate"

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::''See also: [[Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions]]''
::''See also: [[Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions]]''
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through March 28.
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through March 29.
====Major issues====
====Major issues====

Revision as of 14:08, 25 June 2013

Georgia State Senate

Georgia State Senate Seal.jpg
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 14, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Casey Cagle (R)
Majority Leader:   Ronnie Chance (R)
Minority Leader:   Steve Henson (D)
Members:  56
   Democratic Party (18)
Republican Party (38)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art III, Section 4, Georgia Constitution
Salary:   $17,342/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (56 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (56 seats)
Redistricting:  Georgia Legislature has control
Meeting place:
Georgia State Senate Chamber.jpg
The Georgia State Senate is the upper house of the Georgia General Assembly, which is the state legislature of Georgia.

The senate includes 56 state senators, each representing an average of 172,994 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 157,437 residents.[2] The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Georgia State Senate and is granted the right to vote in the event the Senate is tied on a vote. In accordance with Paragraph 5, Section II, Article III of the Georgia Constitution, Georgia state senators serve two-year terms without term limits.

The Georgia Senate convenes on the second Monday of January each year and by law can meet for no longer than 40 legislative days.

As of May 2015, Georgia is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Section 4 of Article III of the Georgia Constitution establishes when the Georgia General Assembly, which the Senate is a part of, is to meet in regular session. The General Assembly must convene annually by the second Monday in January, and its sessions can last for only forty legislative days.[3] Prefiling begins November 15 and runs until the start of the session.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through March 29.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included juvenile-justice reform, regulation of coin-operated video games, ethics reform and a budget that was previously facing a $700 million deficit.[4]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in regular session from January 9 through March 29.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 10 through April 14. [5] Governor Nathan Deal called the legislature into special session for August 15 to consider congressional and legislative redistricting plans based on the 2010 census. [6]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 11th to April 29th.


See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Georgia was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was 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.[7]



See also: Georgia State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Georgia State Senate were held in Georgia on November 6, 2012. A total of 56 seats were up for election. The signature filing deadling was June 29, 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 Georgia Senate held a solid majority and looked to obtain a supermajority.[8]

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Georgia State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Georgia State Senator were held in Georgia on November 2, 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 21, 2010, and the primary election day was July 20, 2010.

The partisan breakdown of the Senate before and after the election was as follows:

Georgia State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 22 20
     Republican Party 34 36
Total 56 56

In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in senate campaigns was $8,052,144. The top 10 donors were: [9]


According to the Georgia Constitution, Georgia Senators must be at least 25 years old, American citizens, Georgia citizens for at least two years and a resident of his or her Senatorial District for at least one year immediately preceding election.


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, the vacant seat must be filled by a special election. The Governor must declare a special election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happened. The election must be held no less than 30 days and no later than 60 days after the Governor calls for the election. The counties representing the vacant district are responsible for conducting the election[10].


The task of redistricting falls on the General Assembly; in the Senate, it is the responsibility of the Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee. Maps must be pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice per the Voting Rights Act.

2010 census

The state's population grew 18.3 percent to over 9.7 million residents. While the maps moved through the Assembly without major disruption, Democrats complained that the maps were designed to get rid of white Democratic legislators through the creation of seven Voting Rights Act districts. On August 23, 2011, each chamber approved the other's plan, and Governor Nathan Deal signed the maps into law the next day. The DoJ pre-cleared the maps on December 23, 2011.



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Georgia legislature are paid $17,342/year plus $173/day for per diem when in session.[11]

When sworn in

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

Georgia legislators assume office the second Monday in January.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 18
     Republican Party 38
Total 56

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


The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate.[12]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Georgia State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Casey Cagle Ends.png Republican
President Pro Tempore of the Senate David Shafer Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Chair Butch Miller Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Cecil Staton Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Chair Horacena Tate Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Vincent Fort Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Current members, Georgia State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Buddy Carter Ends.png Republican 2009
2 Lester Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
3 William Ligon Ends.png Republican 2011
4 Jack Hill Ends.png Republican 1991
5 Curt Thompson Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
6 Hunter Hill Ends.png Republican 2013
7 Tyler Harper Ends.png Republican 2013
8 Tim Golden Ends.png Republican 1999
9 Don Balfour Ends.png Republican 1993
10 Emanuel Jones Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
11 Dean Burke Ends.png Republican 2013
12 Freddie Sims Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
13 John Crosby Ends.png Republican 2009
14 Barry Loudermilk Ends.png Republican 2011
15 Ed Harbison Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
16 Ronnie Chance Ends.png Republican 2005
17 Rick Jeffares Ends.png Republican 2011
18 Cecil Staton Ends.png Republican 2005
19 Tommie Williams Ends.png Republican 1999
20 Ross Tolleson Ends.png Republican 2005
21 Brandon Beach Ends.png Republican 2013
22 Hardie Davis Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
23 Jesse Stone Ends.png Republican 2011
24 William Jackson Ends.png Republican 2007
25 Burt Jones Ends.png Republican 2013
26 David E. Lucas Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
27 Jack Murphy Ends.png Republican 2007
28 Mike Crane Ends.png Republican 2011
29 Joshua McKoon Ends.png Republican 2011
30 Mike Dugan Ends.png Republican 2013
31 Bill Heath Ends.png Republican 2005
32 Judson Hill Ends.png Republican 2005
33 Steve Thompson Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
34 Valencia Seay Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
35 Donzella James Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
36 Nan Orrock Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
37 Lindsey Tippins Ends.png Republican 2011
38 Horacena Tate Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
39 Vincent Fort Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
40 Fran Millar Ends.png Republican 2011
41 Steve Henson Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
42 Jason Carter Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
43 Ronald Ramsey Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
44 Gail Davenport Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
45 Renee Unterman Ends.png Republican 2003
46 Bill Cowsert Ends.png Republican 2007
47 Frank Ginn Ends.png Republican 2011
48 David Shafer Ends.png Republican 2002
49 Butch Miller Ends.png Republican 2010
50 John Wilkinson Ends.png Republican 2011
51 Steve Gooch Ends.png Republican 2011
52 Chuck Hufstetler Ends.png Republican 2013
53 Jeff Mullis Ends.png Republican 2001
54 Charlie Bethel Ends.png Republican 2011
55 Gloria Butler Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
56 John Albers Ends.png Republican 2011

Standing Senate Committees

Georgia Senate has 29 standing committees for the 2011-2012 session:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Georgia State Senate for the first 11 years and the Republicans were the majority for the second 11 years. During the final nine years of the study, Georgia 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 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 Georgia, the Georgia State Senate and the Georgia House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Georgia state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links