Difference between revisions of "New Hampshire State Senate"

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==== Major issues====
==== Major issues====
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session include the state's budget deficit, education funding, state pensions, and abortion.<ref> [http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/editorial/after-a-shake-up-n-h-legislators-have-new-issues/article_0b62b96b-fe1f-5511-b075-1fac84b21962.html ''Sentinel Source,'' "After a shake-up, N.H. legislators have new issues to tackle.," January 4, 2013] </ref>
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included the state's budget deficit, education funding, state pensions, and abortion.<ref> [http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/editorial/after-a-shake-up-n-h-legislators-have-new-issues/article_0b62b96b-fe1f-5511-b075-1fac84b21962.html ''Sentinel Source,'' "After a shake-up, N.H. legislators have new issues to tackle.," January 4, 2013] </ref>

Revision as of 13:43, 1 July 2013

New Hampshire State Senate

Seal of New Hampshire.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 2, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Peter Bragdon (R)
Majority Leader:   Jeb Bradley (R)
Minority Leader:   Sylvia Larsen (D)
Members:  24
   Democratic Party (10)
Republican Party (14)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   General Court, Art 3, Sec. 3, New Hampshire Constitution
Salary:   $100/year
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (24 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (24 seats)
Redistricting:  New Hampshire Legislature has control
Meeting place:
Senate Chamber.JPG
The New Hampshire State Senate is the upper body of the New Hampshire State Legislature. The Senate meets at the State Capitol in Concord.

The Senate is made up of 24 members who are elected every two years. They are not subject to term limits.

Generally, sessions are held annually from early January to the end of June.

Senators are paid $100 a year, as stipulated by the New Hampshire Constitution. Senators also receive mileage reimbursement for officially related travel. The 2009-2010 Senate consists of 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans -- 13 of whom are women and 11 of whom are men. The 2008 election made New Hampshire the first state in the nation to have a legislative body with a majority of women.

In New Hampshire, all 24 Senate districts are based on population. The most recent redistricting occurred in 2004.[1] Each member represents an average of 54,853 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 51,491 residents.[3]

As of May 2015, New Hampshire is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.


The Second Part of the New Hampshire Constitution establishes when the New Hampshire General Court, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Article 3 of the Second Part states that the General Court is to convene annually on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January. Additionally, in even-numbered years, the General Court is to meet on the first Wednesday of December for organizational purposes.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Court was in session from January 2 to July 1.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included the state's budget deficit, education funding, state pensions, and abortion.[4]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 4 through June 27.

Major issues

Major issues on the agenda included economic development, job creation, same-sex marriage, and gambling.[5]


In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 5 through July 1. [6]


In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 6 to July 1.[7]


See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. New Hampshire was given a grade of A 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]



Se also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of New Hampshire State Senate were held in New Hampshire on November 6, 2012. A total of 24 seats were up for election. The signature filing deadline was June 15, 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 New Hampshire Senate currently have a supermajority, which Democrats are seeking to cut into.[9]

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


See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of New Hampshire's State Senate were held in New Hampshire on November 2, 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 11, 2010. The primary election day was September 14, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $2,461,574 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [10]


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

  • At least thirty years of age
  • A resident of the state for seven years immediately preceding the election
  • An inhabitant of the district for which they are chosen

See also

How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

If there is a vacancy in the Senate, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. It's up to the Governor to call for an election and to set an election date as soon as possible. There are no deadlines set by the state constitution on special elections[12] [13].


  • The New Hampshire State Senate was established in 1784. At that time, it included twelve members, who were each elected for one-year terms. The twelve senators were elected from the five counties New Hampshire then had:
One senator from Grafton
Two from Strafford, Hillsborough, and Cheshire
  • Five from Rockingham

The number of senators each county was entitled to elect was based on how the amount of taxes it raised, not on population. This system changed in 1794 when senate districts took the place of county-wide representation, with one senator per district.

The number of senators was doubled to 24 in 1878 with a constitutional amendment. The term of office was expanded to two years in office and twenty-four districts were creates. However, senate districts were not based on population until 1964. Up through 1968, senators voted to fill vacancies; in 1968 the constitution was amended so that special elections were held to fill vacancies.

Protestant property-owners

In the early years of the senate, a candidate had to be at least 30 years old, have lived in the state for at least seven years, and be a property owner and a Protestant. The property-ownership requirement was removed in 1852. The Protestant requirement was removed in 1877.

First female senator

The first woman elected to the New Hampshire Senate was Maude Ferguson, a Republican from Bristol. Ferguson served from 1931-1933.

  • The state senator who has served the longest in office is referred to as the "Dean of the Senate."

Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New Hampshire State Senate for six years while the Republicans were the majority for 16 years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the New Hampshire senate with all three years being Republican.

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


See also: Redistricting in New Hampshire

Redistricting in New Hampshire is handled by the General Court, with the Governor wielding veto power.

2010 census

New Hampshire received its local Census data on March 22, 2011. The state's population increased 6.5 percent, with Coos County being the only county to face a decrease (-0.2 percent). Growth in the larger cities was mild: Manchester grew by 2.4 percent, Nashua decreased by 0.1 percent, Concord grew by 4.9 percent, Derry decreased by 2.7 percent, and Dover grew by 11.5 percent.[14]

At the time of redistricting, Republicans controlled the General Court, and the Democrats controlled the governorship. On March 23, 2012, Gov. John Lynch (D) signed into law a new Senate plan but vetoed the House map, citing a lack of representation in towns that exceed 3,000, which automatically merit their own representative; the Legislature overrode the veto on March 28, 2012. The Department of Justice -- which has the duty of pre-clearing New Hampshire redistricting maps under the Voting Rights Act -- approved the maps in May 2012. On June 19, 2012, several lawsuits regarding the House map were thrown out by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, members of the New Hampshire Senate are paid $200/two-year term. There is no per diem.[15]

The $200/two-year term that New Hampshire senators are paid as of 2010 is the same as they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. Per diem is also the same.[16]


New Hampshire does not provide pensions for legislators.[17]

When sworn in

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

New Hampshire legislators assume office the month after elections (December).

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 10
     Republican Party 14
Total 24

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


After November elections, the entire Senate meets in early December to elect a president, who is traditionally from the majority party. New Hampshire does not have a lieutenant governor, and so when the governor is away or unable to perform the duties of the office, the Senate president serves as acting governor. The Senate president assigns the other leadership positions within their party, and the minority party appoints its own leaders.[18][19]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, New Hampshire State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Peter Bragdon Ends.png Republican
President Pro Tempore of the Senate John Barnes Ends.png Republican
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley Ends.png Republican
Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, New Hampshire State Senate
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Jeff Woodburn Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
2 Jeanie Forrester Ends.png Republican 2010
3 Jeb Bradley Ends.png Republican 2009
4 David Watters Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
5 David Pierce Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
6 Sam Cataldo Ends.png Republican 2012
7 Andrew Hosmer Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
8 Bob Odell Ends.png Republican 2002
9 Andy Sanborn Ends.png Republican 2012
10 Molly Kelly Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
11 Peter Bragdon Ends.png Republican 2004
12 Peggy Gilmour Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
13 Bette Lasky Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
14 Sharon Carson Ends.png Republican 2008
15 Sylvia Larsen Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
16 David Boutin Ends.png Republican 2010
17 John Reagan Ends.png Republican 2012
18 Donna Soucy Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
19 Jim Rausch Ends.png Republican 2010
20 Lou D'Allesandro Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
21 Martha Fuller Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
22 Chuck Morse Ends.png Republican 2010
23 Russell Prescott Ends.png Republican 2010
24 Nancy Stiles Ends.png Republican 2010

Senate Standing Committees

The New Hampshire State Senate has 11 standing committees:

External links