Difference between revisions of "Indiana State Senate"

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In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 5th to March 12th.
In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 5th to March 12th.
{{Transparency card|State=Indiana|Grade=D}}
{{Transparency card|State=Indiana|Grade=D}}

Revision as of 16:27, 17 June 2013

Indiana State Senate

Seal of Indiana.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 15, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   David Long, (R)
Majority Leader:   Brandt Hershman, (R)
Minority Leader:   Vi Simpson, (D)
Members:  50
   Democratic Party (10)
Republican Party (40)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art IV, Indiana Constitution
Salary:   $22,616/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (25 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (25 seats)
Redistricting:  Indiana Legislature has control
The Indiana State Senate is the upper house in the Indiana Legislature. It consists of 50 members, each representing a district that is identified by a number. The Senators serve four-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Half of the Senate is up for re-election every two years. Each member represents an average of 129,676 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 121,610 residents.[2]

The session of the Indiana State Senate begins the first Tuesday after the first Monday every January. In odd numbered years, the Senate must meet 61 days, though not consecutive, and adjourn no later than April 30. The sessions in the odd numbered years are called a "long" session. In even numbered years when elections are held, the Senate must meet for 30 days (not consecutive) and adjourn no later than March 15. The sessions in the even numbered years are a called "short" session.

As of April 2015, Indiana is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article 4 of the Indiana Constitution establishes when the Indiana General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 9 of Article 4 states that the General Assembly will begin its regular session on the Tuesday following the second Monday in January of each year. However, Section 9 allows the starting state for the session to be changed by law. This has happened in Indiana in 2010, as the General Assembly's session convened on January 5th instead of the constitutionally designated date, which was January 12th.

Section 9 also gives the Governor of Indiana the power to call special sessions of the General Assembly.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through April 29.

Major issues

As Republicans flex their new super-majority, the main topic of discussion will be a new two-year state budget. Gov. Mike Pence (R) is seeking to reduce the state's income tax.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through March 14.


In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5th to April 29th.

Session highlights

In the 2011 session, the Indiana legislature reduced the corporate income tax from 8.5 to 6.5 percent, spread over four years. [4]

Budget surplus

At the end of the 2011 fiscal year in July 2011, the Daniels administration revealed a $1.2 billion surplus.

The state's unexpected extra income came from the administration's ability to make deep budget cuts, along with higher than anticipated tax revenues. The budget cuts raked in nearly $460 million more than the $597 million the state had originally aimed for last July. Tax collections also contributed to the surplus, bringing in $204 million more than it had projected, with $195 million coming from income taxes.[5]

Despite the optimism, not everyone in Indiana viewed the surplus positively. House Minority Leader Pat Bauer claimed that the administration's report was "gimmicky," referring to cuts that were made to health care and education. The state school system reportedly bore much of the budget cutting burden since July 2010, returning $325 million from the $6.9 billion that it was allotted in the previous budget.[5]

David Patterson, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, said that "demonized" state employees should receive some of the surplus, in part because they had to work harder to account for the many eliminated positions.[5]

After the surplus was revealed, Daniels stated that the extra money would be put into savings, rather than trying to fix the past and reverse previous cuts.[5]

Hoosiers nearly made off with their own piece of the surplus, but the numbers fell just shy. The amount necessary to trigger automatic tax refunds is 10 percent or more of general spending. The $1.2 billion landed just short of that, at 9.1 percent.[5]

"Governmental streamlining"

In a blunder that state policy website Stateline wryly called "a stunning feat of governmental streamlining," legislators accidentally abolished Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) at the end of June 2011 due to a clerical mistake in a bill meant to save it.

The Administration, which "manages Medicaid and other major programs for Indiana's poor, elderly and disabled," was scheduled to "sunset," or cease operations, on June 30.[6] Lawmakers passed a bill to extend the agency's operations; the law, however, went into effect on July 1, meaning the FSSA was allowed to disappear a day before it was scheduled to be saved. Governor Mitch Daniels (R) subsequently issued an executive order on July 7 allowing the agency to continue operations.

Daniels's executive order will hold until legislators can correct their mistake or until he issues an annual order. According to gubernatorial spokeswoman Jane Jankowski, the agency was previously run by executive order before it was codified into law.

Democratic and Republican legislators blamed each other for the mix-up; the GOP claimed that a five-week walkout by Dems led to a time crunch for the legislature's bill drafters, while Democrats accused their rivals of failing to pass their agenda in a timely manner.[7]


In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 5th to March 12th.


See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Indiana was given a grade of D 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.[8]



See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Indiana State Senate were held in Indiana on November 6, 2012. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was February 24, 2012 and the primary date is set for May 8, 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 Indiana Senate had a solid majority and looked to gain a supermajority.[9]

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


See also: Indiana State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Indiana State Senator were held in Indiana on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 19, 2010 for Republicans and Democrats, and June 30 for Independents and other candidates. The primary election day was on May 4, 2010.

Elections were held in 25 of Indiana's 50 senate districts, with incumbents running in 22 of the races.

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

Indiana State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 17 14
     Republican Party 33 36
Total 50 50

In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in state senate elections was $4,046,473. The top donors were: [10]


To be eligible to serve in the Indiana State Senate, a candidate must be:[11]

  • A United States citizen at the time of election
  • Have resided in the state for at least two years and in the senate district for at least one year before the election
  • Be at least twenty-five (25) years old upon taking office;
  • Registered to vote in the election district the person seeks to represent not later than the deadline for filing the declaration or petition of candidacy or certificate of nomination


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

Whenever there is a vacancy in the Senate, the state committee of a political party must appoint a replacement. The appointee selected by the state committee is contingent upon the approval of the state party chairperson. A special election is only allowed if the vacant seat is left by an independent[12].


Redistricting is handled primarily by the General Assembly. Should it fail to enact a redistricting plan, the five-person Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission is then tasked with redrawing legislative boundaries.

2010 census

Census figures for Indiana were released on December 21, 2010. The state's population grew 6.6 percent to almost 6.5 million. The redistricting process began the week of April 11, 2011. Although the deadline of April 29 only applied to congressional districts, Republicans insisted on a speedy process, to the dissatisfaction of Democrats who argued that the plan reduced competition and posed a disadvantage to minorities. With the signature of Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10, 2011, Indiana became the third state -- after Iowa and Louisiana -- to complete its entire redistricting process.



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Indiana legislature are paid $22,616.46/year. Additionally, legislators receive $152/day per diem tied to the federal rate.[13]


Indiana legislators created a 401(k) plan for themselves in 1989, becoming the first in the nation to do so. Lawmakers who took office after April 1989 were ineligible for the traditional pension plan, receiving the individual retirement account instead.

Legislators pay 5% of their annual salary into the 401(k). In 2007, they voted to include per diem allowances, expense payments and leadership stipends into the calculation, thus raising their retirement accounts.[14]

When sworn in

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

Indiana legislators assume office the day after their general election.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 10
     Republican Party 40
Total 50

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


The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate. [15][16]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Indiana State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Becky Skillman Ends.png Republican
President Pro Tempore of the Senate David Long Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant President Pro Tempore Sue Landske Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Floor Leader Brandt Hershman Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mike Delph Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Brent Steele Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader James Merritt, Jr. Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Caucus Leader Carlin Yoder Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Ryan Mishler Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Whip Travis Holdman Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Timothy Lanane Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Jean Breaux Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader Jim Arnold Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Lindel Hume Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Earline Rogers Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Caucus Leader Frank Mrvan Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Current members, Indiana State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Frank Mrvan Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
2 Lonnie Randolph Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
3 Earline Rogers Electiondot.png Democratic 1990
4 Karen Tallian Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
5 Ed Charbonneau Ends.png Republican 2007
6 Sue Landske Ends.png Republican 1984
7 Brandt Hershman Ends.png Republican 2000
8 Jim Arnold Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
9 Ryan Mishler Ends.png Republican 2004
10 John Broden Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
11 Joe Zakas Ends.png Republican 1982
12 Carlin Yoder Ends.png Republican 2008
13 Susan Glick Ends.png Republican 2010
14 Dennis Kruse Ends.png Republican 2004
15 Thomas Wyss Ends.png Republican 1985
16 David Long Ends.png Republican 1996
17 Jim Banks Ends.png Republican 2010
18 Randall Head Ends.png Republican 2008
19 Travis Holdman Ends.png Republican 2008
20 Luke Kenley Ends.png Republican 1992
21 James Buck Ends.png Republican 2008
22 Ronnie Alting Ends.png Republican 1998
23 Phil Boots Ends.png Republican 2006
24 Pete Miller Ends.png Republican 2012
25 Timothy Lanane Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
26 Doug Eckerty Ends.png Republican 2010
27 Allen Paul Ends.png Republican 1986
28 Michael Crider Ends.png Republican 2012
29 Mike Delph Ends.png Republican 2005
30 Scott Schneider Ends.png Republican 2009
31 James Merritt, Jr. Ends.png Republican 1990
32 Patricia L. Miller Ends.png Republican 1983
33 Greg Taylor Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
34 Jean Breaux Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
35 R. Michael Young Ends.png Republican 2000
36 Brent Waltz Ends.png Republican 2004
37 Rodric D. Bray Ends.png Republican 2012
38 Timothy Skinner Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
39 John Waterman Ends.png Republican 1994
40 Mark Stoops Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
41 Greg Walker Ends.png Republican 2006
42 Jean Leising Ends.png Republican 2008
43 Johnny Nugent Ends.png Republican 1978
44 Brent Steele Ends.png Republican 2004
45 Jim Smith Ends.png Republican 2010
46 Ron Grooms Ends.png Republican 2010
47 Richard Young Electiondot.png Democratic 1988
48 Lindel Hume Electiondot.png Democratic 1982
49 Jim Tomes Ends.png Republican 2010
50 Vaneta Becker Ends.png Republican 2005

Standing Senate Committees

The Indiana Senate has 21 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Indiana State Senate. The Indiana State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years of the study, Indiana 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 Indiana, the Indiana State Senate and the Indiana House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Indiana state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links