Difference between revisions of "North Carolina State Senate"

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Revision as of 12:34, 15 July 2013

North Carolina State Senate

Seal of North Carolina.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 9, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Dan Forest, (R)
Majority Leader:   Harry Brown, (R)
Minority Leader:   Martin Nesbitt, (D)
Members:  50
   Democratic Party (16)
Republican Party (34)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art II, Sec. 2, North Carolina Constitution
Salary:   $13,951/year + per diem + expenses
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (50 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (50 seats)
Redistricting:  North Carolina Legislature has control
Meeting place:
North Carolina Senate.jpg
The North Carolina State Senate is the upper body of the North Carolina Legislature. The Senate meets at its State Capitol in Raleigh. The Senate consists of 50 members who serve a term of two years. Each member represents an average of 190,710 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 160,986 residents.[2] The Lieutenant Governor is President of the Senate and presides over the daily session. The Lieutenant Governor is elected by the citizens of North Carolina for a four-year term. The Lieutenant Governor has no vote in the Senate except to break a tie. The Senate elects officers from their membership including the President Pro Tempore [3].

As of May 2015, North Carolina is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Section 11 of Article II of the North Carolina Constitution establishes that the North Carolina General Assembly, which the Senate is a part of, is to convene a new regular session every two years, and that the dates for these sessions are to be set by law. Sessions in the General Assembly of North Carolina last two years and begin on odd numbered years after elections. Sessions begin at noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January.[4]


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through July 1 (estimated).

Major issues

With the GOP assuming a trifecta for the first time since 1898, leaders are looking to focus on tax reform, cutting government regulations and reshaping the state's public schools.[5]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate convened on May 16 and adjourned July 3.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 26 through mid June. [6] A special session dealing with redistricting began July 13 and ended July 28. The redistricting session covered more than just redistricting, with Republicans overriding five of Governor Perdue's vetoes. Some of the overturned vetoes include the Women's Right to Know Act and state regulatory overhaul. Democratic lawmakers achieved victory in sustaining the veto on the voter I.D. bill. [7]

A second special session was called for September 12 to consider constitutional amendments, including a potential ban on same-sex marriage.[7]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from May 12 to July 11. [8]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. North Carolina 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.[9]



See also: North Carolina State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of North Carolina State Senate were held in North Carolina on November 6, 2012. A total of 50 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was February 29, 2012 and the primary date was 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 North Carolina Senate have a solid majority and are seeking a supermajority.[10]

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


See also: North Carolina State Senate elections, 2010

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

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 26, 2010. The primary election day was May 4, 2010. The second primary election was held on June 22, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $18,614,595 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [11]


Article 2, Section 6 of the North Carolina Constitution states: Each Senator, at the time of his election, shall be not less than 25 years of age, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the State as a citizen for two years and in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election.


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 there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Governor is responsible for selecting a replacement[12] [13]. When making the appointment, the Governor must make the selection from a list of recommended candidates submitted by the political party committee that holds the vacant seat[14]. The appointment must be made by the Governor within seven days of receiving the list of recommended candidates. The person selected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term[13].


See also: Redistricting in North Carolina

Redistricting is the responsibility of the State Legislature. The Governor does not hold veto power. North Carolina is one of 16 states whose maps require approval from the U.S. Department of Justice per the Voting Rights Act.

2010 census

North Carolina received its local census data on March 1, 2011, showing concentration of population and political power in cities, particularly Charlotte and Raleigh. The Republican-controlled redistricting process began proper on July 11, 2011, when Republicans released their proposed maps. Each chamber's final map passed through the General Assembly on July 27, 2011. The DOJ pre-cleared the plan on November 1, 2011, but lawsuits followed, as Democrats and community charged that Republicans had illegally packed black voters to weaken their voting power.



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the North Carolina Legislature are paid $13,951/year. Per diem is $104/day set by statute. Legislators are allowed up to $559/month for expenses.[15]

When sworn in

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

North Carolina legislators assume office the first day of the new General Assembly in January.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 16
     Republican Party 34
Total 50

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


The Lieutenant Governor of the State serves as President of the Senate, but can only vote in the event of a tie. The Senate elects other officers from their members, including a President pro tempore. The President pro tempore then appoints members to serve on the standing committee.[16][17]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, North Carolina State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Dan Forest Ends.png Republican
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Phil Berger Ends.png Republican
State Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore Louis Pate Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Jerry W. Tillman Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader Andrew Brock Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Clark Jenkins Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Floyd McKissick Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Gladys Robinson Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Dan Blue Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Current members, North Carolina State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Bill Cook Ends.png Republican 2013
2 Norman Sanderson, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2013
3 Clark Jenkins Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
4 Angela R. Bryant Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
5 Donald Davis Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
6 Harry Brown Ends.png Republican 2005
7 Louis Pate Ends.png Republican 2011
8 William Rabon Ends.png Republican 2011
9 Thom Goolsby Ends.png Republican 2011
10 Brent Jackson Ends.png Republican 2011
11 E.S. "Buck" Newton Ends.png Republican 2011
12 Ronald Rabin Ends.png Republican 2013
13 Michael P. Walters Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
14 Dan Blue Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
15 Neal Hunt Ends.png Republican 2005
16 Josh Stein Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
17 Tamara Barringer Ends.png Republican 2013
18 Chad Barefoot Ends.png Republican 2013
19 Wesley Meredith Ends.png Republican 2011
20 Floyd McKissick Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
21 Ben Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
22 Mike Woodard Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
23 Eleanor Kinnaird Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
24 Rick Gunn Ends.png Republican 2011
25 Gene McLaurin Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
26 Phil Berger Ends.png Republican 2001
27 Trudy Wade Ends.png Republican 2013
28 Gladys Robinson Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
29 Jerry W. Tillman Ends.png Republican 2003
30 Shirley Randleman Ends.png Republican 2013
31 Peter S. Brunstetter Ends.png Republican 2006
32 Earline Parmon Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
33 Stan Bingham Ends.png Republican 2001
34 Andrew C. Brock Ends.png Republican 2003
35 Tommy Tucker Ends.png Republican 2011
36 Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr. Ends.png Republican 1991
37 Daniel G. Clodfelter Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
38 Joel Ford Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
39 Bob Rucho Ends.png Republican 2008
40 Malcolm Graham Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
41 Jeff Tarte Ends.png Republican 2013
42 Austin M. Allran Ends.png Republican 1987
43 Kathryn Harrington Ends.png Republican 2011
44 David Curtis Ends.png Republican 2013
45 Daniel Soucek Ends.png Republican 2011
46 Warren Daniel Ends.png Republican 2011
47 Ralph Hise Ends.png Republican 2011
48 Tom Apodaca Ends.png Republican 2003
49 Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
50 Jim Davis Ends.png Republican 2011

Senate standing committees

The North Carolina 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, North Carolina’’
Partisan breakdown of the North Carolina legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the North Carolina State Senate for the first 19 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last three years. The North Carolina State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the North Carolina senate with the final year being a Republican trifecta.

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

External links