North Dakota State Senate
|North Dakota State Senate|
|2015 session start:||Will not hold a regular session.|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Drew Wrigley (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Rich Wardner (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Mac Schneider (D)|
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 (23 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (24 seats)|
|Redistricting:||North Dakota Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
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. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 13,664 residents. The Legislative Assembly convenes in regular session the following January.
As of March 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 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature will not hold a regular session.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through May 6.
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.
- 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. A special session has been called by Governor Jack Dalrymple for November 7 through 12 to cover legislative redistricting and disaster relief.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Role in state budget
- See also: North Dakota state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in March and/or April of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in June and/or July.
- Agency hearings are held from July through October.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in the first week of December.
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in April. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The new biennium begins in July.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the state legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. North Dakota was one of 11 states that made rare use of cost-benefit analyses in policy and budget processes.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, North Dakota received a grade of D and a numerical score of 56, indicating that North Dakota was "lagging" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
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.
Elections for the office of North Dakota State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 10, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was April 7, 2014.
The signature filing deadline was April 13, 2012, and the primary date was June 12, 2012.
|2012 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus||$25,600|
|North Dakota Senate Republican Caucus||$18,605|
|Lignite Energy Council||$16,000|
|North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives||$11,750|
|Boilermakers Local 647||$11,500|
|North Dakota Association of Realtors||$11,000|
|North Dakota Petroleum Council||$10,050|
|North Dakota Education Association||$9,959|
|North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$8,600|
|Friends of Kent Conrad||$8,500|
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, North Dakota State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 12||John Grabinger||1.9%||5,800||Bernie Satrom|
|District 46||George B. Sinner||4.2%||7,569||Jim Roers|
|District 44||Tim Flakoll||4.8%||7,375||Rick Olek|
|District 4||John Warner||4.9%||6,368||Daryl J. Lies|
|District 20||Philip Murphy||7.7%||6,155||Melvin Erdmann|
|District 6||David O'Connell||8.8%||7,463||Pamela Smith|
|District 24||Larry Robinson||11.8%||6,873||Keith E. Hovland|
|District 42||Mac Schneider||14.9%||4,988||Ross Lien|
|District 18||Constance Triplett||19.9%||5,444||David Waterman|
|District 19||Tom Campbell||20.2%||5,813||Julius M. Wangler|
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|
|2010 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus||$26,750|
|North Dakota Association of Realtors||$18,550|
|North Dakota Republican Senate Caucus||$15,602|
|North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives||$13,000|
|Lignite Energy Council||$12,500|
|Boilermakers Local 647||$11,200|
|North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$11,050|
|North Dakota Education Association||$10,750|
Elections for the office of North Dakota's State Senate were held in North Dakota on November 4, 2008. A total of 23 seats were up for election.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was April 11, 2008. The primary election day was June 10, 2008.
|2008 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Republican Party||$61,747|
|North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party||$29,250|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPl Caucus||$25,300|
|Boilermakers Local 647||$21,100|
|North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives||$12,950|
|Lignite Energy Council||$11,000|
|North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$10,200|
|North Dakota Petroleum Council||$9,900|
|North Dakota Senate Republican Caucus||$9,000|
Elections for the office of North Dakota's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on June 13, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006. A total of 24 seats were up for election.
|2006 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Republican Senate Caucus||$31,471|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus||$19,000|
|North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party||$12,000|
|North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives||$10,450|
|North Dakota Lignite Council||$10,200|
|North Dakota Association of Realtors||$8,676|
|North Dakota Education Association||$8,000|
|North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$5,700|
|North Dakota Chiropractic Association||$5,050|
Elections for the office of North Dakota's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on June 8, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004. A total of 23 seats were up for election.
|2004 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Republican Party||$19,136|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus||$11,250|
|Senate Republican Caucus of North Dakota||$11,200|
|Republican State Leadership Cmte||$10,000|
|North Dakota Lignite Council||$9,000|
|North Dakota Public Employees Association||$7,175|
|North Dakota Association of Telephone Cooperatives||$7,150|
|North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$5,800|
|North Dakota Chiropractic Association||$5,100|
Elections for the office of North Dakota's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on June 11, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002. A total of 26 seats were up for election.
|2002 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party||$22,000|
|Senate Republican Caucus of North Dakota||$17,500|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus||$13,800|
|North Dakota Education Association||$11,075|
|North Dakota Public Employees Association||$10,750|
|North Dakota Lignite Council||$9,100|
|North Dakota Democratic-NPL District 47||$6,200|
|International Brotherhood of Teamsters||$5,000|
|North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives||$4,100|
Elections for the office of North Dakota's State Senate consisted of a primary election day on June 13, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000. A total of 25 seats were up for election.
|2000 Donors, North Dakota State Senate|
|North Dakota Republican Senate Caucus||$12,125|
|North Dakota Lignite Council||$6,200|
|North Dakota Association of Realtors||$3,200|
|Life Underwriters of North Dakota||$2,250|
|North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus||$2,245|
|National Rifle Association||$1,900|
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.
| 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.
- 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.
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).
North Dakota does not provide pensions for legislators.
When sworn in
North Dakota legislators assume office December 1st.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of March 2015|
List of current members
North Dakota Senate has 11 standing committees:
- Agriculture Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Appropriations Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Education Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Finance and Taxation Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Government and Veterans Affairs Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Human Services Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Industry, Business and Labor Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Natural Resources Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Political Subdivisions Committee, North Dakota State Senate
- Transportation Committee, North Dakota State Senate
Partisan balance 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 had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of North Dakota's state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. From 1995-2013 North Dakota had Republican trifectas. The state's lowest SQLI rating, finishing 30th, occurred from 1998-1999. In more recent years of the study, North Dakota's rankings improved, moving it into the top-10 from 2009-2012. Its best ranking, finishing 3rd, occurred in 2012.
- North Dakota Legislative Assembly
- North Dakota House of Representatives
- North Dakota state legislative districts
- List of state legislative term limits
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- census.gov, "Census 2000 PHC-T-2. Ranking Tables for States: 1990 and 2000," accessed May 15, 2014
- "North Dakota Legislative Assembly" About the Senate, March 3, 2009
- NewsOK, "Oil issues to dominate ND legislative session," January 6, 2013
- North Dakota Legislative Assembly information
- The Bismarck Tribune, N.D. House leader: Special session starts Nov. 7, Sept.15, 2011
- Session information for North Dakota legislature
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "North Dakota State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- North Dakota Legislature, "North Dakota Century Code," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 16.1-13-10 (1))
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
- 2009 North Dakota Senate Leadership
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