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Difference between revisions of "Ohio State Senate"

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:: ''See also: [[Ohio State Senate elections, 2008]]''
:: ''See also: [[Ohio State Senate elections, 2006]]''
:: ''See also: [[Ohio State Senate elections, 2004]]''
:: ''See also: [[Ohio State Senate elections, 2002]]''
:: ''See also: [[Ohio State Senate elections, 2000]]''

Revision as of 16:11, 1 August 2013

Ohio State Senate

Seal of Ohio.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   2 terms (8 years)
2015 session start:   January 7, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Keith Faber, (R)
Majority Leader:   Tom Patton, (R)
Minority Leader:   Eric Kearney, (D)
Members:  33
   Democratic Party (10)
Republican Party (23)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art II, Sec. 1, Ohio Constitution
Salary:   $60,584/year
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (17 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (17 seats)
Redistricting:  Ohio Redistricting Commission
Meeting place:
Ohio senate building.jpg
The Ohio Senate is the upper house in the Ohio Legislature, the state legislature of Ohio. There are 33 state senators.

Each member represents an average of 349,591 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 344,035 residents.[2] The senators serve four-year terms with term limits.[3]

Half of the senate is up for re-election every two years.

As of April 2015, Ohio is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article II of the Ohio Constitution establishes when the Ohio General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to meet. Section 8 of Article II states that the regular session is to convene on the first Monday in January of each year, or the following day if that Monday is a legal holiday.

Section 8 also contains rules for convening special sessions of the General Assembly. It empowers the Governor of Ohio or the presiding officers of the General Assembly to convene a special session. For the presiding officers to convene the session, they must act jointly.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Assembly will be in session from January 7 to a date to be determined.

Major issues

As Keith Faber (R) takes over as President of the Senate, the main focus of the legislature will be adopting a new biennial state budget. Additionally, lawmakers will address casino regulation, state collective-bargaining laws, Medicare expansion, and prison overcrowding.[4]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate began its legislative session on January 3.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate will be in session from January 3 through a date to be determined by the Ohio Legislature. [5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate convened its legislative session on January 4th, and it remains in session throughout the year.[6]

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. Ohio was given a grade of B 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.[7]



See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Ohio State Senate will be held in Ohio on November 6, 2012. A total of 16 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline is December 7, 2011.

Ohio state senators are subject to term limits and may not serve more than two four-year terms. In 2012, 2 state senators will be termed-out: Timothy Grendell and Tom Niehaus.

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


See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2010

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

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 18, 2010 (May 3 for independents). The primary election day was May 4, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $10,478,510 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [8]


See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2008


See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2006


See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2004


See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2002


See also: Ohio State Senate elections, 2000


Article 2, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution states: Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective districts one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this state.

Article 2, Section 5 of the Ohio Constitution states: No person hereafter convicted of an embezzlement of the public funds, shall hold any office in this state; nor shall any person, holding public money for disbursement, or otherwise, have a seat in the General Assembly, until he shall have accounted for, and paid such money into the treasury.


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

Whenever there is a vacancy in the Senate, the members of the Senate must vote on a replacement. Only members of the party that last held the seat can vote on a replacement. A simple majority vote is needed to approve a replacement[9].


See also: Redistricting in Ohio

The Ohio Apportionment Board is responsible for legislative redistricting. It is comprised of 5 members: the Governor, State Auditor, Secretary of State, and two members selected by the legislative leaders of the two major parties.

2010 census

Ohio received its 2010 local census data in early March 2011. Although the state population showed net growth, Ohio's large cities recorded significant population loss. Of the state's five largest cities only Columbus showed population growth. Cleveland suffered the sharpest decline, losing 17.1% of its population.[10]

The Ohio Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, Reapportionment, and Demographic Research assisted the General Assembly and Ohio Apportionment Board in drafting new maps. Four of the five members of the Board were Republicans. By a vote of 4-1 they gave final approval to a new map on September 28, 2011 - two days after posting them online. The lone Democrat on the Board, Rep. Armond Budish, opposed the map, saying it "quarantines" Democrats in 1/3 of the legislative districts.[11]

On January 4, 2012, Democrats filed suit against the legislative maps, saying they violated constitutional requirements for compactness and preservation of county and municipal boundaries. The Ohio Supreme Court took the case but, due to the time factor, ruled the new maps would stand for the 2012 elections, with possible revisions to apply starting in 2014.[12]

Term limits

See also: State legislatures with term limits

The Ohio legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Ohio Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Ohio senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms, or a total of eight years.

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2000.[13]



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Ohio Legislature are paid $60,584/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive no per diem.[14]

When sworn in

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

Ohio legislators assume office January 1st.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 10
     Republican Party 23
Total 33

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


Each legislative session, the President of the Senate, a member of the majority caucus, is chosen by all members of the Senate. The majority and minority caucuses select their respective leaders.[15]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Ohio State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Keith Faber Ends.png Republican
State Senate President Pro Tempore Chris Widener Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Floor Leader Thomas Patton Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Larry Obhof Jr. Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Nina Turner Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Whip Edna Brown Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, Ohio State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Cliff Hite Ends.png Republican 2011
2 Randy Gardner Ends.png Republican 2013
3 Kevin Bacon Ends.png Republican 2011
4 Bill Coley Ends.png Republican 2011
5 Bill Beagle Ends.png Republican 2011
6 Peggy Lehner Ends.png Republican 2011
7 Shannon Jones Ends.png Republican 2009
8 Bill Seitz Ends.png Republican 2009
9 Eric Kearney Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
10 Chris Widener Ends.png Republican 2009
11 Edna Brown Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
12 Keith Faber Ends.png Republican 2007
13 Gayle L. Manning Ends.png Republican 2011
14 Joe Uecker Ends.png Republican 2013
15 Charleta B. Tavares Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
16 Jim Hughes Ends.png Republican 2009
17 Bob Peterson Ends.png Republican 2012
18 John Eklund Ends.png Republican 2011
19 Kris Jordan Ends.png Republican 2011
20 Troy Balderson Ends.png Republican 2011
21 Shirley Smith Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
22 Larry Obhof Ends.png Republican 2011
23 Michael Skindell Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
24 Thomas Patton Ends.png Republican 2009
25 Nina Turner Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
26 Dave Burke Ends.png Republican 2011
27 Frank LaRose Ends.png Republican 2011
28 Thomas Sawyer Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
29 Scott Oelslager Ends.png Republican 2007
30 Lou Gentile Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
31 Tim Schaffer Ends.png Republican 2007
32 Capri Cafaro Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
33 Joseph Schiavoni Electiondot.png Democratic 2009

Standing Senate Committees

Ohio Senate has 14 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

During every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Ohio State Senate. The Ohio State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Ohio was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study period.

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

External links