Pennsylvania State Senate
|Pennsylvania State Senate|
|2015 session start:||January 3, 2012|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Joe Scarnati, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Dominic Pileggi, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Jay Costa, (D)|
| Democratic Party (19) |
Republican Party (30)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Sec 3, Pennsylvania Constitution|
|Salary:||$21,612/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (25 seats)|
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 (25 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Senators
- 4 Senate Committees
- 5 External links
- 6 References
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.
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.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the General Assembly will be in session from January 3 through a date to be determined by the General Assembly.
Fiscal issues will headline the agenda, including a $750 million budget shortfall. Other issues include fees for natural gas drilling and regulations for small games of chance.
- 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. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 9, 2010. The primary election day was May 18, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $11,102,031 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|Volpe Jr., Charles J||$690,659|
|Republican Party of Pennsylvania||$353,324|
|Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters & Joiners||$341,650|
|Pennsylvania Republican Party||$324,378|
|Friends of Dominic Pileggi||$282,650|
|Pennsylvania Association for Justice||$273,200|
|Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association||$270,000|
|Electrical Workers Local 98||$248,000|
|Templeton Jr., John M||$154,500|
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.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
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.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2011, members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are paid $79,613/year during legislative sessions. Per diem is tied to the federal rate.
The $79,613/year that Pennsylvania legislators are paid as of 2011 is an increase over the $78,314.66/year they were paid during legislative sessions in 2010 and $73,613/year in 2007. Per diem has increased from $129/day in 2007 to $154 GSA method and $163 High/Low Method in 2010, but is tied to the federal rate in 2011.
When sworn in
Pennsylvania legislators assume office in January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of January 2015|
List of current members
The Pennsylvania Senate has 22 standing committees:
- Aging & Youth Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Appropriations Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Banking & Insurance Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Communications & Technology Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Education Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Finance Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Game & Fisheries Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Intergovernmental Operations Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Labor & Industry Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Law & Justice Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Local Government Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Public Health & Welfare Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Rules & Executive Nominations Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- State Government Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Transportation Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Urban Affairs & Housing Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee, Pennsylvania State Senate
- Pennsylvania State Senate official website
- Official list of members of the Pennsylvania State Senate
- Project Vote Smart profile of Pennsylvania Senate
- Pennsylvania State Senate on Wikipedia
- Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 2, Section 3
- List of state legislative term limits
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- "Pennsylvania General Assembly" About the Pennsylvania Senate, March 3, 2009
- Herald-Mail, "New legislative session brings old challenges in Pa.," January 4, 2012
- 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- 2010 session dates for Pennsylvania legislature
- Follow the Money: "Pennsylvania Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- State of Pennsylvania "Pennsylvania Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article II, Section 2)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislator Compensation Data"
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- Pennsylvania General Assembly FAQ
- Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate
State of Pennsylvania
|State executive offices||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor General | Secretary of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor & Industry | Chairman of Public Utilities |