Idaho State Senate

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Idaho State Senate

Seal of Idaho.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 9, 2012
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Brent Hill, (R)
Majority Leader:   Bart Davis, (R)
Minority Leader:   Edgar Malepeai, (D)
Members:  35
   Democratic Party (7)
Republican Party (28)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art IV, Idaho Constitution
Salary:   $16,116./year + per diem
Last Election:  November 2, 2010 (35 seats)
Next election:  November 6, 2012 (35 seats)
Redistricting:  Idaho Redistricting Commission
The Idaho State Senate is the upper house in the Idaho Legislature and it meets at the State Capitol in Boise. It consists of 35 members, each representing a district. The districts are identified by a number. The senators serve two-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Each member represents an average of 44,788 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 36,970 residents.[2]

The Idaho Senate meets in session each year in January, typically running through late March or early April. Most senators have careers outside of their work as state legislators. In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 11th to March 29th.[3]

Idaho state senators are paid $16,116 per year, plus expenses for housing and travel during the session. They are also given a constituent service allowance of $2,200. The President Pro Tem and Speaker receive an additional $4,000 per year.

Following elections in November of every even-numbered year, candidates who are elected to the Idaho Senate are sworn in on December 1.


Article III of the Idaho Constitution establishes when the Idaho State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 8 of Article III states that the Legislature will convene its regular session on the second Monday in January of each year. Section 8 also allows that starting date of the legislative session to be changed by law. However, in 2010, the Legislature convened on the second Monday in January as provided by the Constitution. Section 8 also states that the Governor of Idaho can convene special sessions of the Legislature at any time.

The Idaho Legislature normally convenes at the Idaho State Capitol in downtown Boise.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate will be in session from January 9 through mid-April.

Major issues

Legislators are considering setting up a state-based health care exchange as required under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Conservative legislators opposed to the law are seeking to set up a public-private ownership as a compromise, rather that risking the federal government setting up one on the state's behalf. The budget and public education reform will also be major issues.[4]


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 10 through April 7. [5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

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



See also: Idaho State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Idaho State Senate will be held in Idaho on November 6, 2012. A total of 35 seats will be up for election.

The signature filing deadline is March 9, 2012 and the primary date is May 15, 2012.


See also: Idaho State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Idaho State Senator were held in Idaho on November 2, 2010. State senate seats in all of the 35 districts were on the ballot in 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 19, 2010, and the primary election day was May 25, 2010.

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

Idaho State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 7 7
     Republican Party 28 28
Total 35 35

In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in state senate elections was $1,380,073. The top 10 contributors were: [6]

Donor Amount
Senate Republican PAC of Idaho $27,250
Idaho Farm Bureau $25,550
Idaho Association of Realtors $25,500
Idaho Power Co $25,000
Qwest Communications $23,500
JR Simplot Co $22,100
Donoval, James $21,689
Coeur D Alene Tribe $20,750
Idaho Education Association $19,000
Idaho Telecom Alliance $18,250


Article III, Section 6 of the Idaho Constitution states: No person shall be a senator or representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and an elector of this state, nor anyone who has not been for one year next preceding his election an elector of the county or district whence he may be chosen.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
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The Governor is responsible for filling all vacancies in the Senate.

The political party committee that last held the vacant seat has 15 days after the vacancy to submit a list of three recommended candidates to the Governor. The Governor makes the selection based onthe recommendations.

If any party committee fails to submit a list of recommended candidates after the 15 day deadline, the Governor has 5 days to appoint a person from the political party that last held the seat. The person appointed to the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term[7].



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, members of the Idaho Senate are paid $16,116/year. Additionally, legislators receive $122/day per diem for members living outside Boise. Members living inside Boise receive $49/day. Additionally, all members are eligible for $25/day for travel (vouchered), which is set by the Compensation Commision.[8]

The $16,116/year that Idaho Senators are paid as of 2010 is the same as they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. Per diem is also the same. [9]

When sworn in

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

Idaho legislators assume office after the first day of December following the general election.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 7
     Republican Party 28
Total 35


The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore is elected by senate caucus who presides over the daily session when the Lieutenant Governor isn't present and is also the chief leadership position in the majority party.[10][11]

Current leadership

Office Representative Party
President Pro Tem of the Senate Brent Hill Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader Vacant Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Edgar Malepeai Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Les Bock Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader Michelle Stennett Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Idaho State Capitol under renovation
State senators must be citizens of the United States, electors of Idaho and residents of their legislative district for at least one year prior to election.[12]
District Representative Party
1 Shawn Keough Ends.png Republican
2 Joyce Broadsword Ends.png Republican
3 Steve Vick Ends.png Republican
4 John Goedde Ends.png Republican
5 James Hammond Ends.png Republican
6 Dan J. Schmidt Electiondot.png Democratic
7 Dan Johnson Ends.png Republican
8 Sheryl L. Nuxoll Ends.png Republican
9 Monty Pearce Ends.png Republican
10 Vacant
11 Melinda Smyser Ends.png Republican
12 Curt McKenzie Ends.png Republican
13 Patti Anne Lodge Ends.png Republican
14 Chuck Winder Ends.png Republican
15 John Andreason Ends.png Republican
16 Les Bock Electiondot.png Democratic
17 Elliot Werk Electiondot.png Democratic
18 Mitch Toryanski Ends.png Republican
19 Nicole LeFavour Electiondot.png Democratic
20 Shirley McKague Ends.png Republican
21 Russell Fulcher Ends.png Republican
22 Tim Corder Ends.png Republican
23 Bert Brackett Ends.png Republican
24 Lee Heider Ends.png Republican
25 Michelle Stennett Electiondot.png Democratic
26 Dean Cameron Ends.png Republican
27 Denton Darrington Ends.png Republican
28 Steve Bair Ends.png Republican
29 Diane Bilyeu Electiondot.png Democratic
30 Edgar Malepeai Electiondot.png Democratic
31 John Tippets Ends.png Republican
32 Dean Mortimer Ends.png Republican
33 Bart Davis Ends.png Republican
34 Brent Hill Ends.png Republican
35 Jeff Siddoway Ends.png Republican

Senate committees

Idaho State Senate
SLP badge.png
Senate Committees

Agricultural Affairs
Commerce and Human Resources
Health and Welfare
Judiciary and Rules
Local Government and Taxation
Resources and Environment
State AffairsTransportation

Joint Committees
House Committees

The Idaho Senate has 10 standing senate committees: [13]

External links