Difference between revisions of "North Dakota State Senate"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Text replace - "===Transparency===" to "==Ethics and transparency==")
Line 55: Line 55:
==Ethics and transparency==
==Ethics and transparency==
===Open States Transparency===
{{Transparency card|State=North Dakota|Grade=C}}
{{Transparency card|State=North Dakota|Grade=C}}

Revision as of 11:57, 9 July 2013

North Dakota State Senate

Flag of North Dakota.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Drew Wrigley, (R)
Majority Leader:   Rich Wardner, (R)
Minority Leader:   Mac Schneider, (D)
Members:  47
   Democratic Party (15)
Republican Party (32)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art IV, Sec/ 1, North Dakota Constitution
Salary:   $152/day + expenses
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (25 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Redistricting:  North Dakota Legislature has control
The North Dakota State Senate is the upper house of the North Dakota State Legislature. The Senate meets at the State Capitol in Bismarck. The Senate may consist of 40-54 members depending on the number of senatorial districts based on the Census. As of 2005, the state is divided into 47 senatorial districts. North Dakota's state senators serve without term limits.[1]

Approximately one-half the members are elected to four-year terms every two years. Generally, members from even-numbered districts are elected to four-year terms in U.S. presidential election years (2004, 2008, etc.) and members from odd-numbered districts are elected to four-year terms in general election years offset by two years from U.S. presidential elections (2002, 2006, 2010, etc.).

Members take office as of December 1 of even-numbered years.

Each member represents an average of 14,310 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 13,664 residents.[3] The Legislative Assembly convenes in regular session the following January[4].

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


Article IV of the North Dakota Constitution establishes when the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 7 of Article IV states that the Assembly is to convene in regular session every January after a legislative election. This means that the Assembly convenes in January of every odd-numbered year. Section 7 specifies that the convening date is to be the first Tuesday after the third day in January, unless this date is changed by law. Section 7 limits the length of regular sessions to no more than eighty days every two years.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through May 6.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session were focused mostly on the oil boom in western North Dakota and included a budget, the state surplus, improved transportation infrastructure, and decreasing crime.[5]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature was not in regular session.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 4 through April 28. [6] A special session has been called by Governor Jack Dalrymple for November 7 through 12 to cover legislative redistricting and disaster relief.[7]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate did not meet in regular session.[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 Dakota was given a grade of C 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 Dakota State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of North Dakota State Senate were held in North Dakota on November 6, 2012. A total of 23 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was April 13, 2012.

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


See also: North Dakota State Senate elections, 2010

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

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 8, 2010. The primary election day was June 8, 2010.

North Dakota State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 21 12
     Republican Party 26 35
Total 47 47

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $271,222 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [10]


Article 4, Section 5 of the North Dakota Constitution states: State Senators and Representatives must be, on the day of the election, qualified voters in the district from which they are chosen and a resident of the state for one year preceding election to office.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

Whenever there is an vacancy in the Senate, it must be filled by the district committee of the political party that currently holds the seat. A replacement must be named no later than 21 days after the vacancy. If more than 828 days are remaining in the vacant senator's term, the replacement can serve in a interim basis until the next scheduled general election. It would be up to the Governor to schedule a special election in order to determine a permanent replacement[11].


See also: Redistricting in North Dakota

Redistricting is the responsibility of the General Assembly, with a federal or state court intervening should the legislature not agree on a plan.

2010 census

North Dakota received its local census data on March 15, 2011. The state enjoyed an approximately five percent population growth to 672,591, but lost in rural districts, posing the threat of facing incumbents against each other. The legislature held a special session in November 2011 after preliminary approval by the Interim Legislative Redistricting Committee, and passed the proposed plan on the 8th, a day after convening. The plan cut two rural districts, added districts in Fargo and Bismarck, and paired over a dozen incumbents. Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) signed the plan into law on November 9, 2011.



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the North Dakota Legislature are paid $152/day during legislative sessions and for attending interim committee meetings. Legislators receive lodging reimbursements up to $1,351/month (vouchered).[12]


North Dakota does not provide pensions for legislators.[13]

When sworn in

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

North Dakota legislators assume office December 1st.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 15
     Republican Party 32
Total 47

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


The Lieutenant Governor of the State serves as President of the Senate.[14]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, North Dakota State Senate
Office Representative Party
President Pro Tem of the Senate Terry Wanzek Ends.png Republican
Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Jerry Klein Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader David Hogue Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Joan Heckaman Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader John Warner Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, North Dakota State Senate
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Stanley W. Lyson Ends.png Republican 1999
2 John Andrist Ends.png Republican 1993
3 Oley Larsen Ends.png Republican 2011
4 John Warner Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
5 Randy Burckhard Ends.png Republican 2011
6 David O'Connell Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
7 Nicole Poolman Ends.png Republican 2013
8 Howard Anderson Ends.png Republican 2013
9 Richard Marcellais Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
10 Joe Miller Ends.png Republican 2009
11 Tim Mathern Electiondot.png Democratic 1986
12 John Grabinger Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
13 Judy Lee Ends.png Republican 1995
14 Jerry Klein Ends.png Republican 1997
15 Dave Oehlke Ends.png Republican 2007
16 Tyler Axness Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
17 Ray Holmberg Ends.png Republican 1977
18 Constance Triplett Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
19 Tom Campbell Ends.png Republican 2013
20 Philip Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
21 Carolyn Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
22 Gary Lee Ends.png Republican 2001
23 Joan Heckaman Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
24 Larry Robinson Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
25 Larry Luick Ends.png Republican 2011
26 Jim Dotzenrod Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
27 Spencer Berry Ends.png Republican 2011
28 Robert Erbele Ends.png Republican 2001
29 Terry Wanzek Ends.png Republican 2007
30 Ron Carlisle Ends.png Republican 2011
31 Donald Schaible Ends.png Republican 2011
32 Dick Dever Ends.png Republican 2001
33 Jessica K. Unruh Ends.png Republican 2013
34 Dwight Cook Ends.png Republican 1997
35 Margaret Sitte Ends.png Republican 2011
36 Kelly Armstrong Ends.png Republican 2013
37 Rich Wardner Ends.png Republican 1999
38 David Hogue Ends.png Republican 2009
39 Bill Bowman Ends.png Republican 1991
40 Karen Krebsbach Ends.png Republican 1988
41 Tony Grindberg Ends.png Republican 1992
42 Mac Schneider Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
43 Lonnie Laffen Ends.png Republican 2011
44 Tim Flakoll Ends.png Republican 1998
45 Ronald Sorvaag Ends.png Republican 2011
46 George B. Sinner Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
47 Ralph Kilzer Ends.png Republican 1999

Senate Committees

North Dakota Senate has 11 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 Dakota’’
Partisan breakdown of the North Dakota legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the North Dakota State Senate for the first three years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 19 years. The North Dakota State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. North Dakota was under Republican trifectas for the last 19 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 North Dakota, the North Dakota State Senate and the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of North Dakota state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links