Louisiana State Senate
|Louisiana State Senate|
|Term limits:||3 terms (12 years)|
|2015 session start:||April 8, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||John Alario, (R)|
| Democratic Party (13) |
Republican Party (26)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Section 3, Louisiana Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 19, 2011 (39 seats)|
|Next election:||November 3, 2015 (39 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Louisiana legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Term limits
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Standing Senate Committees
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Article III of the Louisiana Constitution establishes when the Louisiana State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 2 of Article III states that, in even-numbered years, the Legislature shall convene on the last Monday in March and meet for no more than sixty legislative days during a period of eighty-five calendar days. In odd-numbered years, the Legislature is to convene on the last Monday in April and meet for no more than forty-five legislative days during a period of sixty calendar days. During regular sessions in odd-numbered years, the Legislature can only consider measures regarding the state budget, revenues, and appropriations.
Section 2 of Article III also allows the Legislature to be called into a special session by the Governor of Louisiana or by a majority of the members of each legislative house. During special sessions, the Legislature can only legislate on matters related to the proclaimed purposes of the session.
Section 2 of Article III also authorizes the Governor of Louisiana to call an emergency session without prior notice in the event of a public emergency.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from April 8 to June 6.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from March 12 through June 4.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from April 25 through June 23. The Legislature was in a special session regarding the census and redistricting from March 20-April 15. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate was in session from March 29th to June 21st. 
Louisiana is one of only four states that hold state elections in odd-numbered years. Clerk of the Louisiana House Alfred "Butch Speer explains why:
For scores of years we conducted our party primaries in the winter of the odd numbered years, with any necessary 2d primary held in January. Because Republican voter registration was so miniscule from 1877 until 1980, the general elections were mere irritants to the Democrat primary victor. Once we scrapped the partisan primary system  we set the entire system up to run in the fall of the odd numbered year, our traditional election season.
- See also: Louisiana State Senate elections, 2011
As of the 2000 Census, each of Louisiana's 39 state senators represents an average population of 1114,589 people. In 2007, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $18,266,324 in campaign contributions.
|Year||Number of candidates||Total contributions|
The top 10 donors were:
|2007 Donors, Louisiana State Senate|
|Leach Jr., Claude (Buddy)||$293,669|
|Senate Democratic Campaign Cmte of Louisiana||$249,598|
|Leach, Claude Buddy||$237,000|
|Louisiana Republican Party||$230,380|
|Quinn, Patrick & Julie||$230,000|
|John A. Alario, Jr.||$200,000|
|Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation Campaign Cmte||$185,000|
|Louisiana Association of Business & Industry||$174,344|
In order to run for office, the following qualifications are in place:
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Must be a resident of the district they seek to hold office to for a minimum of two years.
- Must not have served more than two and one half terms previously in office. This is for any candidate who has held office in the past after January 8, 1996.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense.
- Have no outstanding fines with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.
- Pay a $225 filing fee with the Clerk of Court in the parish they reside in or collect 400 signatures.
- If running as a Republican or Democrat, pay an additional $112.50 filing fee with the state and/or parish executive committee of their party.
| 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. An election is required if there is six months or more left in the unexpired term. The Senate President must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happened. The Senate President must determine the dates for the election along with all filing deadlines. The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Louisiana legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Of the 15 states, it is the only state where term limits were imposed by the state's legislators, rather than through the ballot initiative process. Under Louisiana's term limits, state senators can serve no more than three 4-year terms in the senate.
- See also: Redistricting in Louisiana
In Louisiana, the state legislature has control over the redistricting process. The redistricted maps are introduced as bills in the Senate and the House, and can be vetoed by the governor for any reason. Louisiana faces special scrutiny under the Voting Rights Act as a state with a history of using district lines as tools of racial discrimination, so all maps must be reviewed and preapproved by the U.S. Department of Justice before use.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Louisiana had the third-slowest growth rate of any state in the nation between 2000 and 2010. only Rhode island and Michigan experienced smaller positive population gains during this time period (notably, Michigan experienced an overall decrease in population). Louisiana grew 1.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, with a total population rise from 4.47 million in 2000 to 4.53 million in 2010. Notably the South as a region experienced overall growth of 14.29 percent. Hurricane Katrina's impact caused enough people to move out of state to cost Louisiana a Congressional District. The population shifts also substantially affected state legislative districts, including the largely African-American city of New Orleans.
During the redistricting process, Louisiana legislators faced a compressed timeline compared to other states. The odd year elections meant that the 2011 elections in the fall would need districts soon enough to get clearance from the Department of Justice per the Voting Rights Act, allow candidates to file in the appropriate districts, and leave time for the Blanket primary and the general election to happen in early November 2011.
The State Senate added two new majority-minority district for the 2011 elections, but took away seats from the New Orleans area overall, reflecting the loss of population in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The new Senate map has 11 majority-minority districts.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of March 2015|
The President and President Pro Tempore of the Senate are elected by the full body, needing at least 20 votes for confirmation. The President is the presiding officer of the body, whose duties include preserving order, calling votes, appointing/removing members of each Senate and conference committee, and approving all expenditures of the Senate. In the absence of the President, the President Pro Tempore assumes all duties of the position.
|Current Leadership, Louisiana State Senate|
|President of the Senate||John Alario||Republican|
|President Pro Tempore||Sharon Weston Broome||Democratic|
|Senate Republican Chairman||Daniel Martiny||Republican|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Louisiana legislature are paid $16,800/year. Additionally, legislators receive $6,000/year for expenses and $149/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
Louisiana does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1996.
When sworn in
Louisiana legislators assume office at noon on the second Monday in January after their election.
Standing Senate Committees
There are a total of seventeen standing committees in the Louisiana Senate. These committees are comprised of seven members with the exception of two committees: Finance Committee and Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, have eleven each. It is under the discretion of the Senate President to appoint and remove members of a committee.
- Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Commerce, Consumer Protection, and International Affairs Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Education Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Environmental Quality Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Finance Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Health & Welfare Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Insurance Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Judiciary A Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Judiciary B Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Judiciary C Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Labor & Industrial Relations Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Local & Municipal Affairs Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Natural Resources Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Retirement Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Transportation, Highways & Public Works Committee, Louisiana State Senate
- Official website of the Louisiana State Senate
- Official list of Louisiana State Senators
- Louisiana State Senate on Wikipedia
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- StateNet, Daily Session Summary, 4 March 2011
- 2010 session dates for Louisiana Legislature
- The Thicket, "Why do Four States Have Odd-Year Elections?," August 25, 2011
- Follow the Money: "Louisiana Senate 2007 Campaign Contributions"
- Louisiana Secretary of State "Candidate Qualifications"
- Louisiana Secretary of State "Candidate Qualification Form"
- Louisiana Secretary of State "Filing Fees"
- Louisiana Legislature "Louisiana Election Code"(Referenced Statute 18:601, Louisiana Statutes)
- Louisiana term constraints
- State legislative term limits
- Ruston Daily Leader, "Loss of one congressional seat a result of low population growth in state", accessed December 31, 2010
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change," March 2011
- New Orleans Times Picayune, "Redistricting is expected to cost New Orleans three districts in the Louisiana House of Representatives", January 19, 2011
- Senate Rules of Order - Chapter 3: Officers
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
State of Louisiana
Baton Rouge (capital)
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