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===2010 census===
 
===2010 census===
Rhode Island received its census data on March 23, 2011. The state had a very low growth rate of 0.4 percent; the five counties ranged from -3.0 to 2.8 percent. As far as the most populous cities, Providence grew by 2.5 percent, Warwick decreased by 3.7 percent, Cranston grew by 1.4 percent, Pawtucket decreased by 2.5 percent, and East Providence decreased by 3.4 percent.<ref>[http://2010.census.gov/news/releases/operations/cb11-cn110.html ''U.S. Census Bureau'', "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Rhode Island's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 23, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012]</ref>
+
Rhode Island received its census data on March 23, 2011. The state had a very low growth rate of 0.4 percent; the five counties ranged from -3.0 to 2.8 percent. As far as the most populous cities, Providence grew by 2.5 percent, Warwick decreased by 3.7 percent, Cranston grew by 1.4 percent, Pawtucket decreased by 2.5 percent, and East Providence decreased by 3.4 percent.<ref>[http://www.census.gov/2010census/news/releases/operations/cb11-cn110.html ''U.S. Census Bureau'', "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Rhode Island's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 23, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012]</ref>
  
 
On February 1, 2012, the Senate and House passed a proposal that the commission had released and approved in December 2011. Republican were upset over what they saw as gerrymandering in House District 47 working to the benefit of incumbent [[Cale Keable]] (D). Gov. [[Lincoln Chafee]] (I) signed the maps into law on February 8, 2012.  A Republican lawsuit followed on March 8.
 
On February 1, 2012, the Senate and House passed a proposal that the commission had released and approved in December 2011. Republican were upset over what they saw as gerrymandering in House District 47 working to the benefit of incumbent [[Cale Keable]] (D). Gov. [[Lincoln Chafee]] (I) signed the maps into law on February 8, 2012.  A Republican lawsuit followed on March 8.

Revision as of 17:27, 1 July 2014

Rhode Island State Senate

Seal of Rhode Island.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 7, 2014
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D)
Majority Leader:   Dominick Ruggerio (D)
Minority leader:   Dennis Algiere (R)
Structure
Members:  38
   Independent (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art VI, Section 2, Rhode Island Constitution
Salary:   $14,185.95/year
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (38 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (38 seats)
Redistricting:  Rhode Island legislature has control
The Rhode Island State Senate is the upper house of the Rhode Island General Assembly, the state legislature of Rhode Island.

It is composed of 38 Senators, each of whom is elected to a two-year term. Rhode Island is one of the 14 states where its upper house serves at a two-year cycle, rather than the normal four-year term as in the majority of states. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve.

Each Rhode Island state senator represents an average of 27,699 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 27,587 residents.[2]

The Rhode Island Senate meets at the Rhode Island State Capitol in Providence.[3]

The Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to executive departments, commissions, boards, or justices to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

As of July 2014, Rhode Island is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

See also: Rhode Island State Legislature, Rhode Island House of Representatives, Rhode Island Governor

Sessions

Article VI of the Rhode Island Constitution establishes when the Rhode Island General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 3 of Article states that the General Assembly is to convene its regular session on the first Tuesday of January in each year.

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the General Assembly was in session from January 7 through June 23.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included a budget deficit estimated at $100 million, pension reform, raising the minimum wage, reducing corporate income taxes and raising bridge tolls.[4][5]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Assembly was in session from January 1 through July 5.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included a budget deficit estimated at $69 million, legalization of same-sex marriage, gun control, and economic development.[6]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 3 through June 13.

Major issues

The legislature had to address a $120 million budget deficit. Legislators wanted to cut spending to close the gap while Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) pushed for a tax raise. Major issues also included reducing municipal pension costs and reducing regulations to spur economic growth.[7]

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 4 - July 1. The legislature is in recess until October, when a special session is planned to tackle the cost of public-employee pensions.[8]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 5 to June 11.[9]

Role in state budget

See also: Rhode Island 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 July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. Agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September and October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in November and December. Public hearings are held in March and April.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in January.
  5. The legislature typically adopts a budget in June. The fiscal year begins July 1.

In Rhode Island, the governor has no veto authority over the budget.[11]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.[11]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated 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. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Rhode Island was one of 11 states that made rare use of cost-benefit analyses in policy and budget processes.[12]

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.[13] According to the report, Rhode Island received a grade of D+ and a numerical score of 62, indicating that Rhode Island was "lagging" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[13]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Rhode Island was given a grade of D 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.[14]

Elections

2014

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Rhode Island State Senate will consist of a primary election on September 9, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 25, 2014.

2012

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate were held in Rhode Island on November 6, 2012. A total of 38 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was June 27, 2012 and the primary date was September 11, 2012.

During the 2012 election, the total value of contributions to the 80 Senate candidates was $1,693,685. The top 10 contributors were:[15]

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

2010

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate were held in Rhode Island on November 2, 2010. A total of 38 seats were up for election.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 28, 2010. The primary election day was September 14, 2010.

During the 2010 election, the total value of contributions to the 98 Senate candidates was $2,009,724. The top 10 contributors were:[16]

2008

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on September 9, 2008 and a general election on November 4, 2008. A total of 38 seats were up for election.

During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to the 74 Senate candidates was $1,785,520. The top 10 contributors were:[17]

2006

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on September 12, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006. A total of 38 seats were up for election.

During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to the 70 Senate candidates was $1,987,554. The top 10 contributors were:[18]

2004

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on September 14, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004. A total of 38 seats were up for election.

During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to the 78 Senate candidates was $2,028,107. The top 10 contributors were:[19]

2002

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on September 10, 2002 and a general election on November 5, 2002. A total of 38 seats were up for election.

During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to the 71 Senate candidates was $782,693. The top 10 contributors were:[20]

2000

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on September 12, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000. A total of 50 seats were up for election.

During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to the 74 Senate candidates was $499,599. The top 10 contributors were:[21]

Qualifications

Article III of the Rhode Island Constitution lays out the requirements for officeholders of Rhode Island's state government.

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 Secretary of State must call for an election to be held anywhere from 70 to 90 days after the vacancy occurred. No election can be held if the vacancy happens after the first Monday in February during an election year.[22] The person elected to fill the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.[23]

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Rhode Island

The General Assembly is responsible for legislative redistricting, with the Governor holding veto power. In June 2011, the Assembly passed a law establishing a redistricting commission of 18 members -- 12 legislators and six members of the general public -- that would make recommendations to the Assembly, who would then pass new maps as regular legislation.

2010 census

Rhode Island received its census data on March 23, 2011. The state had a very low growth rate of 0.4 percent; the five counties ranged from -3.0 to 2.8 percent. As far as the most populous cities, Providence grew by 2.5 percent, Warwick decreased by 3.7 percent, Cranston grew by 1.4 percent, Pawtucket decreased by 2.5 percent, and East Providence decreased by 3.4 percent.[24]

On February 1, 2012, the Senate and House passed a proposal that the commission had released and approved in December 2011. Republican were upset over what they saw as gerrymandering in House District 47 working to the benefit of incumbent Cale Keable (D). Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed the maps into law on February 8, 2012. A Republican lawsuit followed on March 8.

Senators

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Rhode Island Legislature are paid $14,185.95/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive no per diem.[25]

Pension

Rhode Island does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1994.[26]

When sworn in

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

Rhode Island legislators assume office the first Tuesday in January.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 32
     Republican Party 5
     Independent 1
Total 38


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

Leadership

The President of the Senate serves as the presiding officer of the body. The President is elected to a two-year term by the entire Senate. Duties of the President include calling the Senate to order, deciding all questions of order, and appointing all standing committees. The majority and minority caucuses choose their party leaders. The majority and minority leaders serve as ex-officio members of all standing committees.[27]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Rhode Island State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere Ends.png Republican

Length of terms

See also: Length of terms of state senators

The Rhode Island Constitution, in Article IV, Section 1, says that the length of terms served by the state's senators is two years:

The senators and representatives in the general assembly shall be elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, biennially in even numbered years, and shall severally hold their offices for two (2) years from the first Tuesday of January next succeeding their election and until their successors are elected and qualified.[28]

List of current members

Current members, Rhode Island State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Maryellen Goodwin Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
2 Juan Pichardo Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
3 Gayle Goldin Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 Dominick Ruggerio Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
5 Paul Jabour Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
6 Harold Metts Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
7 Frank Ciccone Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
8 James Doyle Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
9 Adam Satchell Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
10 Walter Felag Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
11 Christopher Ottiano Ends.png Republican 2011
12 Louis DiPalma Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
13 M. Teresa Paiva Weed Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
14 Daniel Da Ponte Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
15 Donna Nesselbush Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
16 Elizabeth Crowley Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
17 Edward O'Neill Independent Independent 2009
18 William Conley Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
19 Ryan Pearson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
20 Roger Picard Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
21 Nicholas Kettle Ends.png Republican 2011
22 Steve Archambault Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
23 Paul Fogarty Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
24 Marc Cote Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
25 Frank Lombardo III Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
26 Frank Lombardi Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
27 Hanna Gallo Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
28 Joshua Miller Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
29 Michael McCaffrey Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
30 William Walaska Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
31 Erin Lynch Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
32 David Bates Ends.png Republican 1993
33 Leonidas Raptakis Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
34 Catherine Cool Rumsey Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
35 Dawson Hodgson Ends.png Republican 2011
36 James Sheehan Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
37 V. Susan Sosnowski Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
38 Dennis Algiere Ends.png Republican 1993

Standing committees

The Rhode Island Senate has 11 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, Rhode Island
Partisan breakdown of the Rhode Island legislature from 1992-2013

During every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Rhode Island State Senate. The Rhode Island State Senate is 1 of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.

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

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Rhode Island 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. Rhode Island had a Democratic trifecta in the early years of the study, from 1992-1994, but after that maintained a divided government. The state's best SQLI ranking, finishing 26th, occurred in 2002. In more recent years of the study, Rhode Island's ranking fell, finishing in the bottom-10 at 41st in both 2009 and 2011.

Chart displaying the partisanship of the Rhode Island government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

See also

External links

References

  1. census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
  3. http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/RiConstitution/C04.html: Rhode Island Constitution, Article 4, Section 1]
  4. www.providencejournal.com/, "R.I. General Assembly fields more than 30 pieces of legislation, touching on minimum wage, corporate tax," accessed January 10, 2014
  5. boston.com, "Pensions, budget, tolls on 2014 legislative agenda," accessed January 10, 2014(Archived)
  6. Coventry Patch, "This week at the General assembly," January 6, 2013
  7. Boston.com, "Issues to watch in 2012 RI session," January 2, 2012
  8. Projo.com, R.I. lawmakers pass flurry of bills, recess until October," July 1, 2011
  9. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 19, 2014(Archived)
  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. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  14. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  15. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  16. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  17. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  18. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  19. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  20. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  21. Follow the Money, "Rhode Island State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed June 6, 2014
  22. Rhode Island Legislature, "Rhode Island General Laws," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 17-3-6 (a))
  23. Rhode Island Legislature, "Rhode Island General Laws," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 17-3-6 (b))
  24. U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Rhode Island's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 23, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012
  25. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  26. USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
  27. Rhode Island Senate Leadership
  28. Rhode Island Constitution