Difference between revisions of "New Jersey State Senate"

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:: ''See also: [[New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011]]''
Elections for the office of [[New Jersey State Senate]] will consist of a primary election on June 4, 2013, and a general election on [[State legislative elections, 2013|November 5, 2013]].
:: ''See also: [[New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011]]''
:: ''See also: [[New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011]]''

Revision as of 15:14, 11 June 2013

New Jersey State Senate

Seal of New Jersey.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 10, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Stephen Sweeney, (D)
Majority Leader:   Loretta Weinberg (D)
Minority Leader:   Thomas Kean, (R)
Members:  40
   Democratic Party (24)
Republican Party (16)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art Article IV, New Jersey Constitution
Salary:   $49,000/year
Last Election:  November 8, 2011 (40 seats)
Next election:  November 5, 2013 (40 seats)
Redistricting:  New Jersey Redistricting Commission
The New Jersey State Senate is the upper house in the New Jersey Legislature, consisting of 40 members. Known as the "2-4-4" cycle, Senators serve four-year terms, except in the first term of a new decade, which only lasts for two years. They are not subject to term limits.

Each senator represents an average of 219,797 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 210,359 residents.[2]


Article IV of the New Jersey Constitution establishes when the New Jersey State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 1 of Article IV states that each annual session is to begin on the second Tuesday of January. The session does not end until the beginning of the next annual session or until the Legislature chooses to adjourn.

Section 1 also allows for special sessions of the Legislature to be called by the Governor of New Jersey or by a majority of the members of each legislative house.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 10 to a date to be determined.

Major issues

The major issue for the Legislature is rebuilding the state after superstorm Sandy. Gun control is also expected to be addressed.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate began its legislative session on January 10.


In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 12 through a date to be determined by the Legislature. [4]


In 2010, the Senate convened on January 12, and remained in session throughout the year.[5]


Four states, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia hold their state legislative elections in odd-numbered years. New Jersey began holding elections in odd numbered years when the state adopted a new constitution in 1947. Prior to the new constitution, members of the Assembly were elected to one-year terms, members of the Senate to three-year terms and governors to three-year terms. The new constitution changed the term structure to include two years for representatives and four year terms for senators and governors. Because the constitution was adopted in an odd-numbered year, elections were also held in odd-numbered years and have continued in such a manner to this day.[6]

The notion also exists that the reason for odd year elections exists to insulate New Jersey politics from national politics. Former New Jersey Governor Alfred E. Driscoll made the following statement before the constitutional convention in 1947:[6]

...the election for a Governor and for Assemblymen should not coincide with a Presidential election. The importance of a gubernatorial election merits an election that will not be overshadowed by a national contest for the Presidency. The problems confronting the State are frequently distinct from those confronting the nation...

This chart shows how many candidates ran for state senate in New Jersey in past years and the cumulative amount of campaign contributions in state senate races, including contributions in both primary and general election contests. All figures come from Follow The Money.[7]

Total contributions, New Jersey State Senate
Year Number of candidates Total contributions
2011 97 $27,085,886
2007 98 $30,156,484
2003 123 $19,785,597
2001 104 $18,903,480
1997 72 $10,941,283


See also: New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011

Elections for the office of New Jersey State Senate will consist of a primary election on June 4, 2013, and a general election on November 5, 2013.


See also: New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011

Elections for the office of New Jersey's state senators were held in New Jersey on November 8, 2011.

During the 2011 election, the total contributions to the 97 Senate candidates was $27,085,886. The top 10 contributors were:[7]


As of the 2000 Census, New Jersey's 40 state senators each represented an average population of 210,359 people. In 2007, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $30,156,484 in campaign contributions.

The top 10 donors were:[8]


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

There are two ways to fill an vacancy in the Senate. If the vacancy happens in legislative session, a special election must be called within 51 days of the vacancy. All other vacancies must be filled by the county leadership of the political party that holds the seat[9].


See also: Redistricting in New Jersey

Redistricting is handled by the bipartisan 10-member New Jersey Redistricting Commission.

2010 census

The State of New Jersey received its local census data on February 3, 2011.[10]. From that point, the Commission had 60 days to ultimately settle on a map. The state's population grew five percent to 8.8 million from 2000 to 2010.[11]

Unable to agree on a map within 30 days, Rutgers law professor Alan Rosenthal was appointed as the nonpartisan 11th member of the commission, as called for. When a compromise could not be reached, he cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the Democratic map on April 3, 2011.[12]



Senators must be 30 years of age or older, have lived in the state for a minimum of four years, and have lived in the district they represent.


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the New Jersey Legislature are paid $49,000/year. There is no per diem.[13]

When sworn in

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

New Jersey legislators assume office at noon of the second Tuesday in January following the election.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 24
     Republican Party 16
Total 40

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


At the organizational meeting, the Senate elects a President, President pro tempore, and Secretary, with each requiring 21 or more votes for approval. The Senate then appoints by resolution the other officers.[14][15]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, New Jersey State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Stephen Sweeney Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate President Pro Tempore Nia Gill Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Paul Sarlo Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader Robert Gordon Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Greenstein Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Donald Norcross Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Majority Whip Sandra Cunningham Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Ends.png Republican
State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Diane Allen Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader Robert Singer Ends.png Republican
State Senate Deputy Minority Caucus Leader Christopher Bateman Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Whip Kevin O'Toole Ends.png Republican

List of current members

District Representative Party
1 Jeff Van Drew Electiondot.png Democratic
2 Jim Whelan Electiondot.png Democratic
3 Stephen Sweeney Electiondot.png Democratic
4 Fred Madden Electiondot.png Democratic
5 Donald Norcross Electiondot.png Democratic
6 James Beach Electiondot.png Democratic
7 Diane Allen Ends.png Republican
8 Dawn Addiego Ends.png Republican
9 Christopher Connors Ends.png Republican
10 James Holzapfel Ends.png Republican
11 Jennifer Beck Ends.png Republican
12 Samuel Thompson Ends.png Republican
13 Joseph Kyrillos Ends.png Republican
14 Linda Greenstein Electiondot.png Democratic
15 Shirley Turner Electiondot.png Democratic
16 Christopher Bateman Ends.png Republican
17 Bob Smith Electiondot.png Democratic
18 Barbara Buono Electiondot.png Democratic
19 Joseph Vitale Electiondot.png Democratic
20 Raymond Lesniak Electiondot.png Democratic
21 Thomas Kean Ends.png Republican
22 Nicholas Scutari Electiondot.png Democratic
23 Michael Doherty Ends.png Republican
24 Steven Oroho Ends.png Republican
25 Anthony Bucco Ends.png Republican
26 Joseph Pennacchio Ends.png Republican
27 Richard Codey Electiondot.png Democratic
28 Ronald Rice Electiondot.png Democratic
29 Teresa Ruiz Electiondot.png Democratic
30 Robert Singer Ends.png Republican
31 Sandra Cunningham Electiondot.png Democratic
32 Nicholas Sacco Electiondot.png Democratic
33 Brian Stack Electiondot.png Democratic
34 Nia Gill Electiondot.png Democratic
35 Nellie Pou Electiondot.png Democratic
36 Paul Sarlo Electiondot.png Democratic
37 Loretta Weinberg Electiondot.png Democratic
38 Robert Gordon Electiondot.png Democratic
39 Gerald Cardinale Ends.png Republican
40 Kevin O'Toole Ends.png Republican

Standing senate committees

The New Jersey Senate has 16 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New Jersey State Senate for the first 10 years and the Republicans were the majority for the last 10 years.

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

External links