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Georgia State Senate
|Georgia State Senate|
|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)|
| 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|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Redistricting
- 4 Senators
- 5 Standing Senate Committees
- 6 History
- 7 External links
- 8 References
The senate includes 56 state senators, each representing an average of 172,994 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 157,437 residents. 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.
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. Prefiling begins November 15 and runs until the start of the session.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 14 through April 18 (estimated).
The one major issue the legislature has to address is passing a budget in the face of an estimated $700 million deficit. Other major issues include ethics reform, gun control, school vouchers, teacher evaluations, and a proposed new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.
- 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.  Governor Nathan Deal called the legislature into special session for August 15 to consider congressional and legislative redistricting plans based on the 2010 census. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 11th to April 29th.
- See also: Georgia State Senate elections, 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.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Georgia State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 6||Hunter Hill||5.6%||71,235||Doug Stoner|
|District 23||Jesse Stone||19%||66,438||Robert Ingham|
|District 9||Don Balfour||23.6%||75,177||Scott Drake|
|District 8||Tim Golden||24.1%||58,799||Bikram Mohanty|
|District 17||Rick Jeffares||25.5%||74,998||Nelva Lee|
|District 25||Burt Jones||27.4%||70,367||Darrell Black|
|District 56||John Albers||34.5%||71,583||Akhtar Sadiq|
|District 47||Frank Ginn||34.9%||61,622||Tim Riley|
|District 26||David E. Lucas, Sr.||36.6%||62,479||Bobby Gale|
|District 7||Tyler Harper||43.1%||56,072||Donald Mitchell|
- See also: Georgia State Senate elections, 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|
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in senate campaigns was $8,052,144. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Georgia State Senate|
|Georgia Trial Lawyers Association||$88,350|
|Georgia Dental Association||$65,950|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$64,550|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia||$49,550|
|Independend Insurance Agents of Georgia||$48,350|
|Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals||$46,000|
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.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
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.
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.
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.
When sworn in
Georgia legislators assume office the second Monday in January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of March 2015|
List of current members
Standing Senate Committees
Georgia Senate has 29 standing committees for the 2011-2012 session:
- Administrative Affairs
- Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
- Banking and Financial Institutions
- Economic Development
- Education and Youth
- Government Oversight
- Health And Human Services
- Higher Education
- Insurance and Labor
- Interstate Cooperation
- Judiciary Non-civil
- Natural Resources and the Environment
- Public Safety
- Reapportionment and Redistricting
- Regulated Industries and Utilities
- Science and Technology
- Special Judiciary
- State and Local Government Operations
- State Institutions and Property
- Urban Affairs
- Veterans, Military and Homeland Security
Women in the Senate
Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton, of Georgia, was appointed to the United States Senate in 1922 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas E. Watson. Even though she only served for a short amount of time she became known as the first woman to serve in the Senate.
- Georgia State Senate official website
- Official list of Georgia State Senators
- Wikipedia:149th General Assembly of the State of Georgia
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- Georgia Constitution, Article III, Section 4
- WJBF, "Georgia General Assembly Legislative Session Kicks Off Monday," January 12, 2013
- Georgia General Assembly
- StateScape, Session updates, Aug. 12, 2011
- Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Follow the Money: "Georgia Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Lexis Nexis "The Code of Georgia"(Referenced Statute, 21-2-544, Search for 21-2-544 under Table of Contents)
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Georgia State Senate Leadership
- History of the Georgia State Senate
- U.S. Senate History, History of the Georgia State Senate
State of Georgia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | State Superintendent of Schools | Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Service Commission |