Missouri State Senate

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Missouri State Senate

Seal of Missouri.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   2 terms (8 years)
2015 session start:   January 9, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Robert Mayer, (R)
Majority Leader:   Ron Richard, (R)
Minority Leader:   Jolie Justus, (D)
Members:  34
   Democratic Party (9)
Republican Party (25)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art IV, Missouri Constitution
Salary:   $35,915/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (17 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (17 seats)
Redistricting:  Missouri Legislature Commissions have control
Meeting place:
The Missouri State Senate is the upper house of the Missouri General Assembly. It consists of 34 members. Each member represents an average of 176,145 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 164,565 residents.[2]

The senators serve four-year terms, with a limit of two terms.

Half of the senate is up for re-election every two years.


Article III of the Missouri Constitution establishes when the Missouri General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part is to meet. Section 20 of Article III states that the General Assembly shall convene its regular session on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January of each year. Section 20 requires the General Assembly to adjourn its regular session by May 30th.

Section 20 of Article III also allows for a special session of the General Assembly to be convened by a joint proclamation of three-fourths of the members of both houses.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through May 30.

Major issues

Legislative leaders are looking to focus on the state's business climate - issues include tax credits, capital improvements, an income tax cut, and a major revision to the state's criminal code.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through May 30.

Major issues

The budget was the main focus of the session, as the state faced a $500 million spending gap in January. The agenda at the start of the session also included economic development, Workers Compensation reforms, and overhauling public school funding.[4] Those items joined health care exchanges, birth control, charter schools, and sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine crimes as points of contention and accomplishment over the course of the session.[5]


In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 5 through May 30. [6] Governor Jay Nixon called for a special legislative session for September 6, however, the session was called off when Republicans hesitated on a push to overhaul state tax credits and authorize several new incentive programs, including one for a China freight hub in St. Louis. Assembly members were sent home so that they might read the revised 219-page measure over the weekend. According to Senate President Pro Tem Robert Mayer, the "important" bill "needs the attention of every member of this body."[7]


In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 6th to May 14th. [8][9]



See also: Missouri State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Missouri State Senate were held in Missouri on November 6, 2012. A total of 17 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was March 27, 2012 and the primary date was August 14, 2012.

Missouri state senators are subject to term limits and may not serve more than two four-year terms. In 2012, 9 state senators were termed-out.

The following table details the 8 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Missouri State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Missouri State Senate were held in Missouri on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 30, 2010 and the primary election day was on August 3, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $12,861,549 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [10]


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

  • At least 30 years of age
  • Qualified Missouri voter for three years before election
  • Resident of the district which he is chosen to represent for 1 year before election
  • Is not delinquent in the payment of any state income taxes, personal property taxes, real property taxes on the place of residence as stated in the declaration of candidacy
  • is not a past or present corporate officer of any fee office that owes any taxes to the state.
  • Has not been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor under the federal laws of the United States of America.
  • Has not been convicted of or found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony under the laws of Missouri.
  • In addition to any other penalties provided by law, no person may file for any office in a subsequent election until he or the treasurer of his existing candidate committee has filed all required campaign disclosure reports for all prior elections.


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 a vacancy occurs in the Senate, the Governor must call for a special election without delay. There is no time limit specified under law[12]. The mandate for a special election is sent to the election authority in the county that first established the legislative district[13].

Term limits

See also: State legislatures with term limits

The Missouri legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Missouri Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Missouri senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms, or a total of eight years.

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2002.[14]


See also: Redistricting in Missouri

Legislative redistricting in Missouri is handled by two bipartisan commissions, one for each chamber, with 10 members in the Senate commission and 18 members in the House commission. The Governor selects these members from lists of nominees submitted by the state committees of the Democratic and Republican parties. Two House commission members must come from each congressional district. This differs from the congressional redistricting method, which involves the Assembly simply passing new maps as routine legislation. If a commission cannot complete the process in six months following appointment, a panel of six appellate judges takes over the process for that particular commission; it cannot interfere with one that has already finished.

2010 census

Missouri received its local census data on February 24, 2011. The state's population increased by seven percent, with most growth coming in the southern half of the state. The five most populous cities showed mixed outcomes: Kansas City grew by 4.1 percent since the 2000 Census. St. Louis decreased by 8.3 percent, Springfield grew by 5.2 percent, Independence grew by 3.1 percent, and Columbia grew by 28.4 percent.[15]

Since 1970, Missouri has had the courts involved in finishing redistricting; despite the commissions' intent, 2011 did not end that streak. Both commissions came to an impasse in mid-August 2011, and the special court panel took over. On November 30, the panel finalized a new plan.

While the House plan -- which put 34 Republicans and 23 Democrats into incumbent races -- stood, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the Senate plan. On January 31, 2012, Governor Jay Nixon appointed a new commission for the sake of redrawing the Senate districts. The commission approved a new plan on February 23; the plan -- which weakened Republican districts around St. Louis -- was met with hostility, then a lawsuit. After hearing testimony and tweaking the map, the commission approved the map again on March 12, and the lawsuit was dropped.



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Missouri House of Representatives are paid $35,915/year. Per diem is $104/day tied to the federal rate. Roll call is used to verify per diem.[16]

When sworn in

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

Missouri legislators assume office the first day of the legislative session.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 9
     Republican Party 25
Total 34

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


The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate.[17]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Missouri State Senate
Office Representative Party
State Senate President Pro Tempore Tom Dempsey Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader Eric Schmitt Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Brian Nieves Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Floor Leader S. Kiki Curls Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader Joe Keaveny Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, Missouri State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Scott Sifton Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
2 Scott Rupp Ends.png Republican 2006
3 Gary Romine Ends.png Republican 2013
4 Joseph Keaveny Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
5 Jamilah Nasheed Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
6 Mike Kehoe Ends.png Republican 2011
7 Jason Holsman Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
8 Will Kraus Ends.png Republican 2011
9 Shalonn Curls Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
10 Jolie Justus Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
11 Paul LeVota Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12 Brad Lager Ends.png Republican 2007
13 Gina Walsh Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
14 Maria Chappelle-Nadal Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
15 Eric Schmitt Ends.png Republican 2009
16 Dan Brown Ends.png Republican 2011
17 Ryan Silvey Ends.png Republican 2013
18 Brian Munzlinger Ends.png Republican 2011
19 Kurt Schaefer Ends.png Republican 2009
20 Jay Wasson Ends.png Republican 2011
21 David Pearce Ends.png Republican 2009
22 Ryan McKenna Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
23 Tom Dempsey Ends.png Republican 2007
24 John Lamping Ends.png Republican 2011
25 Doug Libla Ends.png Republican 2013
26 Brian Nieves Ends.png Republican 2011
27 Wayne Wallingford Ends.png Republican 2013
28 Mike Parson Ends.png Republican 2011
29 David Sater Ends.png Republican 2013
30 Bob Dixon Ends.png Republican 2011
31 Ed Emery Ends.png Republican 2013
32 Ronald Richard Ends.png Republican 2011
33 Mike Cunningham Ends.png Republican 2013
34 Rob Schaaf Ends.png Republican 2011

Senate Committees

The Missouri Senate has 18 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Missouri State Senate for the first 9 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 13 years.

Across the country, there were 544 Democratic and 517 Republican State Senates from 1992-2013.

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 Missouri, the Missouri State Senate and the Missouri House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Missouri state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links