Difference between revisions of "Pennsylvania State Senate"

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{{State trifecta status|state=Pennsylvania|control=Republican}}
 
{{State trifecta status|state=Pennsylvania|control=Republican}}
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::''See also: [[Pennsylvania State Legislature]], [[Pennsylvania House of Representatives]], [[Pennsylvania Governor]]''
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==Sessions==
 
==Sessions==
 
[[Article II, Pennsylvania Constitution| Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution]] establishes when the [[Pennsylvania General Assembly]], of which the Senate is a part, is to meet.  Section 4 of Article II states that the General Assembly is to convene its regular session on the first Tuesday of January each year.
 
[[Article II, Pennsylvania Constitution| Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution]] establishes when the [[Pennsylvania General Assembly]], of which the Senate is a part, is to meet.  Section 4 of Article II states that the General Assembly is to convene its regular session on the first Tuesday of January each year.
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:: ''See also: [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions]]''
 
In 2010, the Senate convened its [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| legislative session]] on January 5, and it remained in session throughout the year.<ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=18630 2010 session dates for Pennsylvania legislature]</ref>
 
In 2010, the Senate convened its [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| legislative session]] on January 5, and it remained in session throughout the year.<ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=18630 2010 session dates for Pennsylvania legislature]</ref>
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===Role in state budget===
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::''See also: [[Pennsylvania state budget]]''
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{{Pennsylvania budget process}}
  
 
==Ethics and transparency==
 
==Ethics and transparency==

Revision as of 12:29, 8 May 2014

Pennsylvania State Senate

Seal of Pennsylvania.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 7, 2014
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Jim Cawley (R)
Majority Leader:   Dominic Pileggi (R)
Minority leader:   Jay Costa (D)
Structure
Members:  50
  
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art II, Sec 3, Pennsylvania Constitution
Salary:   $82,026/year + per diem
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (25 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (25 seats)
Redistricting:  Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission
The Pennsylvania State Senate is the upper house in the Pennsylvania Legislature. It consists of 50 members who serve four-year terms without term limits.

Each state senator represents an average of 254,048 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 245,621 residents.[2]

The Pennsylvania senate is a continuing body during the term for which its senators are elected. It meets at noon on the first Tuesday of January and then regularly throughout the year. When the Pennsylvania Constitution stipulates that the General Assembly must meet in regular session annually, that means the session of one year must adjourn by noon of the first Tuesday of the following year. Two regular sessions cannot meet at the same time.

The General Assembly must also adjourn by midnight, November 30, in even-numbered years due to the expiration of the terms of office of all House members and half the Senate. The Lieutenant Governor, as President of the Senate, can cast a tie-breaking vote on any question except the final passage of a bill or joint resolution, the adoption of a conference report, or the concurrence in amendments made by the House of Representatives[3].

As of July 2014, Pennsylvania is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

See also: Pennsylvania State Legislature, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Governor

Sessions

Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution establishes when the Pennsylvania General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to meet. Section 4 of Article II states that the General Assembly is to convene its regular session on the first Tuesday of January each year.

Section 4 gives the Governor of Pennsylvania the authority to convene special sessions of the General Assembly either when he judges a special session to be in the public interest, or when a majority of each legislative House requests a special session.

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through November 30.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session include public pension reform and liquor privatization.[4]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Assembly was in session from January 2 to December 31.

Major issues

Like many other states, Pennsylvania lawmakers had to work on the budget deficit. Other issues included economic development, public pension reform, liquor privatization, and child abuse.[5]

In November 2013, the Pennsylvania state House and state Senate voted unanimously on a bill, which was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett, to change the state’s unemployment compensation law. The bill closed a loophole that allowed a state employee to retire from his job and begin collecting benefits, only to be hired back as a part-time employee while also collecting unemployment compensation after leaving a previous job. While the law closed a triple-dipping loophole, the changes do not prevent double-dipping, in which a state employee retires, begins collecting pension benefits, and returns to work a part-time position.[6]

In November 2013, the state House approved a gambling expansion bill by a vote of 102-96. The bill would allow Pennsylvania bars and taverns to conduct “small scale gambling” such as raffles and drawings for cash prizes. A similar bill was approved by the Senate in October 2013, but the House-passed bill must be agreed to before the measure becomes law. Proponents of the bill say the state could raise almost $156 million annually in tax revenue if as many as 2,000 bars and taverns accept it. Opponents of the legislation say the bill would not produce the promised revenue and would hurt families.[7]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

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

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate will be in session from January 4 through a date to be determined by the General Assembly.[8]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate convened its legislative session on January 5, and it remained in session throughout the year.[9]

Role in state budget

See also: Pennsylvania state budget

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[10][11]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. State agencies submit their requests to the governor in October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in December and January. Public hearings are held in February and March.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
  5. The legislature typically adopts a budget in May or June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.

In Pennsylvania, the governor may exercise line item veto, item veto of appropriations, and item veto of selected words authority.[11]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. While the legislature is not legally required to pass a balanced budget, the Governor is legally required to sign a balanced budget.[11]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: Following the Money 2014 Report

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.[12] According to the report, Pennsylvania received a grade of B- and a numerical score of 82.5, indicating that Pennsylvania was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[12]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Pennsylvania was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is 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.[13]

Elections

2014

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania State Senate will take place in 2014. A primary election took place May 20, 2014. The general election will take place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 11, 2014.

2012

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania State Senate will be held in Pennsylvania on November 6, 2012. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was February 14, 2012, and the primary date was April 24, 2012.

During the 2012 election, the total contributions to the 55 Senate candidates was $26,589,797. The top 10 contributors were:[14]

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

2010

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania's State Senate were held in Pennsylvania on November 2, 2010. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 9, 2010. The primary election day was May 18, 2010.

During the 2010 election, the total contributions to the 53 Senate candidates was $20,772,005. The top 10 contributors were:[15]

2008

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania State Senate will be held in Pennsylvania on November 4, 2008. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was February 14, 2008, and the primary date was April 22, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total contributions to the 65 Senate candidates was $29,456,144. The top 10 contributors were:[16]

2006

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on May 16, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

During the 2006 election, the total contributions to the 63 Senate candidates was $22,233,800. The top 10 contributors were:[17]

2004

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on April 27, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

During the 2004 election, the total contributions to the 52 Senate candidates was $18,023,643. The top 10 contributors were:[18]

2002

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on May 21, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

During the 2002 election, the total contributions to the 53 Senate candidates was $19,135,990. The top 10 contributors were:[19]

2000

See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on April 4, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000. A total of 25 seats were up for election.

During the 2000 election, the total contributions to the 49 Senate candidates was $10,724,732. The top 10 contributors were:[20]

Qualifications

Under Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution, Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age and Representatives twenty-one years of age. They shall have been citizens and inhabitants of their respective districts one year next before their election (unless absent on the public business of the United States or of this State) and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service.

Vacancies

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, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. The Senate President must call for a special election. There are no deadlines set in the state constitution on when a special election can be held.[21]

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Pennsylvania

As far as legislative redistricting, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission is responsible. This commission is normally made up of the majority and minority leaders of each legislative chamber, plus a fifth member selected by the other four to serve as chair. If the four cannot agree on a fifth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides. The commission has until the October of the redistricting year to submit a plan.

2010 census

Pennsylvania received its local census data on March 9, 2011. The state had a low 3.4 percent growth rate from 2000-2010. The five most populous cities showed mostly stagnation: Philadelphia grew by 0.6 percent, Pittsburgh decreased by 8.6 percent, Allentown grew by 10.7 percent, Erie decreased by 1.9 percent, and Reading grew by 8.5 percent. By county, the major standout was Forest County with a 56 percent rate of growth.[22]

On August 17, 2011, the Commission approved the census data and went to work on a preliminary map, which it passed on October 31, 2011 by a vote of 3-2. Democrats were not happy with the plan or the negotiation process. Final maps were approved on December 12, 2011 by a 4-1 vote, moving a Senate district and five House districts from west to east. There was a 30-day window to file appeals, of which 11 were filed. The state Supreme Court threw out the maps on January 25, 2012 after appeals were heard.

The commission met on April 12, 2012 to vote in favor of a compromise map, which contained two Senate district splits and 68 House splits. On June 8, the commission approved the final plan, which went to the state Supreme Court for final approval.

Senators

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are paid $82,026/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive $159/day (vouchered) tied to the federal rate, which they can receive actual expenses or per diem.[23]

Pension

Legislators in Pennsylvania are able to retire at age 50, while other state workers cannot retire until they turn 60. In 2011, the average legislative pension was $35,221 annually, while the average state employee pension was $23,491. According to former legislator David Mayernik, who began collecting a pension of $29,583 a year when he retired at age 50, the lowered retirement age was intended as compensation for small legislative salaries as well as the uncertainty of serving in office.[24]

When sworn in

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

Pennsylvania legislators assume office in January.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 23
     Republican Party 27
Total 50


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

Leadership

The Lieutenant Governor serves as president of the Senate, but has no vote except in the case of a tie. The President Pro Tempore is elected by the Senate from its members.[25][26]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Pennsylvania State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Jim Cawley Ends.png Republican
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Joe Scarnati Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Floor Leader Dominic Pileggi Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Leader John Gordner Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Floor Leader Jay Costa Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Anthony Williams Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader Rich Kasunic Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, Pennsylvania State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Larry Farnese Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
2 Christine Tartaglione Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
3 Shirley Kitchen Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
4 LeAnna Washington Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
5 Mike Stack Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
6 Robert Tomlinson Ends.png Republican 1995
7 Vincent Hughes Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
8 Anthony Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
9 Dominic Pileggi Ends.png Republican 2003
10 Charles McIlhinney Ends.png Republican 2007
11 Judy Schwank Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
12 Stewart Greenleaf Ends.png Republican 1979
13 Lloyd Smucker Ends.png Republican 2009
14 John Yudichak Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
15 Rob Teplitz Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
16 Pat Browne Ends.png Republican 2005
17 Daylin Leach Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
18 Lisa Boscola Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
19 Andy Dinniman Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
20 Lisa Baker Ends.png Republican 2007
21 Scott Hutchinson Ends.png Republican 2012
22 John Blake Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
23 Gene Yaw Ends.png Republican 2009
24 Bob Mensch Ends.png Republican 2009
25 Joe Scarnati Ends.png Republican 2001
26 Ted Erickson Ends.png Republican 2001
27 John Gordner Ends.png Republican 2003
28 Scott Wagner Ends.png Republican 2014
29 David Argall Ends.png Republican 2009
30 John Eichelberger Ends.png Republican 2007
31 Pat Vance Ends.png Republican 2005
32 Rich Kasunic Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
33 Richard Alloway Ends.png Republican 2009
34 Jake Corman Ends.png Republican 1999
35 John Wozniak Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
36 Michael Brubaker Ends.png Republican 2007
37 Matthew Smith Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
38 Jim Ferlo Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
39 Kim Ward Ends.png Republican 2009
40 Randy Vulakovich Ends.png Republican 2012
41 Don White Ends.png Republican 2001
42 Wayne Fontana Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
43 Jay Costa Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
44 John Rafferty Ends.png Republican 2003
45 James Brewster Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
46 Timothy Solobay Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
47 Elder Vogel Ends.png Republican 2009
48 Mike Folmer Ends.png Republican 2007
49 Sean Wiley Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
50 Bob Robbins Ends.png Republican 1991

Senate Committees

The Pennsylvania Senate has 22 standing committees:

History

Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Pennsylvania State Senate for one year while the Republicans were the majority for 21 years. The Pennsylvania State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Pennsylvania was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study.

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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Pennsylvania state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of Pennsylvania 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. Pennsylvania had a Democratic trifecta in 1993, but switched two years later to a Republican trifecta that lasted from 1995-2002. The state had a divided government for many years until a Republican trifecta returned in 2011. Pennsylvania's worst SQLI ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 1994 during a divided government and in 2012 during a Republican trifecta. The state's best ranking, finishing 19th, occurred from 1999-2000 during a Republican trifecta and again in 2004 during a divided government.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 25.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 23.70
  • SQLI average with divided government: 25.20
Chart displaying the partisanship of Pennsylvania government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

See also

External links

References

  1. Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
  2. Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
  3. "Pennsylvania General Assembly" About the Pennsylvania Senate, March 3, 2009
  4. blog.pennlive.com/, "Pa. Senate Prez: Do away with 'obsolete, unsustainable' pensions or face budget crash: Friday Morning Coffee," accessed January 10, 2014
  5. Post-Gazette, "Pennsylvania lawmakers start settling in," January 2, 2013
  6. The Reporter Online, "Triple-dipping loophole in Pa. unemployment law finally closed," accessed December 6, 2013
  7. WatchDog.org, "Gambling expansion bill heads to Pennsylvania Senate," accessed December 9, 2013
  8. 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
  9. 2010 session dates for Pennsylvania legislature
  10. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  13. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  14. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  15. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  16. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  17. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  18. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  19. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  20. Follow the Money, "Pennsylvania State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 2, 2014
  21. State of Pennsylvania, "Pennsylvania Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Section, Article II, Section 2)
  22. U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Pennsylvania's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 9, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012
  23. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  24. USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
  25. Pennsylvania General Assembly FAQ
  26. Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate