Difference between revisions of "South Carolina State Senate"

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::''See also: [[Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions]]''
::''See also: [[Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions]]''
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 8 through June 6.
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through June 20.
====Major issues====
====Major issues====
Due to a hacker successfully stealing the personal information of 6.4 million people from the state's  Department of Revenue computer system, computer security will be a top priority.  Other issues include improving the state's roads and bridges and addressing healthcare.<ref> [http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2013/jan/08/south-carolina-lawmakers-start-legislative-session-ar-5323090/ ''WJBF,'' "South Carolina Lawmakers Start Legislative Session Vowing To Protect Your Information And Improve Roads," January 8, 2013] </ref>
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included computer security, improving the state's roads and bridges and addressing healthcare.<ref>[http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2013/jan/08/south-carolina-lawmakers-start-legislative-session-ar-5323090/ ''WJBF,'' "South Carolina Lawmakers Start Legislative Session Vowing To Protect Your Information And Improve Roads," January 8, 2013]</ref>

Revision as of 11:36, 26 June 2013

South Carolina State Senate

Seal of South Carolina.jpg
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Glenn McConnell, (R)
Majority Leader:   Harvey Peeler, (R)
Minority Leader:   John Land, (D)
Members:  46
   Democratic Party (18)
Republican Party (28)
Vacancy (1)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art III, Sec 1, South Carolina Constitution
Salary:   $10,400/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (46 seats)
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Redistricting:  South Carolina Legislature has control
The South Carolina Senate is the upper house in the South Carolina Legislature. It consists of 46 state senators who are elected to four-year terms without term limits.[1]

South Carolina state senators are not subject to term limits.[2]

Each member represents an average of 100,551 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[3] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 87,218 residents.[4]

As of May 2015, South Carolina is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article III of the South Carolina Constitution establishes when the South Carolina State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 9 of Article III states that the Legislature is to convene on the second Tuesday of January each year. Section 9 allows the General Assembly to recede from session for up to thirty days by a majority vote of the legislative house seeking to recede. Furthermore, one or both houses can recede from session for more than thirty days if that action is approved by two-thirds of the members.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through June 20.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included computer security, improving the state's roads and bridges and addressing healthcare.[5]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 11 through June 7.

Major issues

Legislators addressed a budget surplus of $900 million. Major agenda issues included tax reform, job security measures, reforming the state retirement system, and creating a new school funding formula.[6]


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in regular session from January 11 through June 2. [7] On June 2, Governor Nikki Haley attempted to call the Legislature into an "emergency" special session to begin on June 7 to create the new South Carolina Department of Administration. A lawsuit was filed by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, in which he contended that Haley's call for a special session was unconstitutional, and that it violated the state Constitution's requirement of separation of powers among the governor, legislature and courts. [8] On June 6, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled 3-2 against Governor Haley, stating that her order violated the Legislature's ability to set its calendar and agenda. [9]

The legislature met in a special redistricting session from June 14 - July 1. [10] The legislature re-convened July 26. [11]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 12 to June 3.[12]


See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. South Carolina 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.[13]



See also: South Carolina State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of South Carolina State Senate were held in South Carolina on November 6, 2012. A total of 46 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was March 30, 2012 and the primary date was June 12, 2012.

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


South Carolina did not hold any State Senate elections in 2010.


To be eligible to serve in the South Carolina State Senate a candidate must be:[14]

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
  • 21 years old at the filing deadline time
  • A resident of the district at the filing deadline time


See also: 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. If candidates plan to seek the nomination through a party convention, the filing period begins on the third Friday after the vacancy happened. The qualifying deadline is ten days after the filing period opens[15].

If a candidate plans to seek the nomination via petition, all signatures must submitted to the appropriate filing officer no later than sixty days before the election. All signatures must be verified by the filing officer no later than 45 days before the election[16].

A primary election must be held on the eleventh Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. If necessary, a primary runoff must be held on the thirteenth Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. The special election is held on the eighteenth Tuesday after vacancy occurs. No special election can be held less than 60 days before the general election[16].


The Legislature is tasked with legislative redistricting. In particular, the Senate Judiciary Committee has the responsibility of setting criteria for new districts.

2010 census

South Carolina's population grew 15.3 percent to 4.6 million, making it the 10th fastest growing state in the country. However, this led the state's majority-minority districts to pale in light of the ideal district sizes (37,301 for the House and 100,551 for the Senate). On June 15, 2011, both chambers passed Senate-originated maps, and the U.S. Department of Justice cleared the maps in November 2011. As of July 2012, a federal decision upholding the maps was being appealed by the state Democrats; the 2012 elections are not affected.[17]



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the South Carolina Legislature are paid $10,400 a year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive $131 a day for meals and housing for each statewide session day and committee meeting. Per diem is tied to the federal rate.[18]

When sworn in

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

South Carolina legislators assume office the Monday after the election.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 18
     Republican Party 28
Total 46

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


The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate.[19]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, South Carolina State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Glenn McConnell Ends.png Republican
State Senate President Pro Tempore John E. Courson Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, South Carolina State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Thomas Alexander Ends.png Republican 1994
2 Larry Martin Ends.png Republican 1992
3 Kevin Bryant Ends.png Republican 2004
4 William O'Dell Ends.png Republican 1988
5 Tom Corbin Ends.png Republican 2012
6 Michael Fair Ends.png Republican 1995
7 Karl Allen Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
8 Ross Turner Ends.png Republican 2012
9 Daniel Verdin Ends.png Republican 2000
10 Floyd Nicholson Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
11 Glenn G. Reese Electiondot.png Democratic 1990
12 Lee Bright Ends.png Republican 2008
13 Shane R. Martin Ends.png Republican 2008
14 Harvey S. Peeler, Jr. Ends.png Republican 1980
15 Wes Hayes Ends.png Republican 1990
16 Chauncey K. Gregory Ends.png Republican 2011
17 Creighton B. Coleman Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
18 Ronnie W. Cromer Ends.png Republican 2003
19 John L. Scott, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
20 John E. Courson Ends.png Republican 1994
21 Darrell Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
22 Joel Lourie Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
23 Katrina Frye Shealy Ends.png Republican 2012
24 Tom Young, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2012
25 A. Shane Massey Ends.png Republican 2007
26 Nikki G. Setzler Electiondot.png Democratic 1976
27 Vincent A. Sheheen Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
28 Greg Hembree Ends.png Republican 2012
29 Gerald Malloy Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
30 Kent Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
31 Hugh Leatherman Ends.png Republican 1980
32 J. Yancey McGill Electiondot.png Democratic 1988
33 Luke A. Rankin Ends.png Republican 1992
34 Raymond Cleary Ends.png Republican 2004
35 J. Thomas McElveen, III Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
36 Kevin L. Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
37 Lawrence Grooms Ends.png Republican 1997
38 Sean Bennett Ends.png Republican 2012
39 John Matthews Electiondot.png Democratic 1984
40 Brad Hutto Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
41 Paul Thurmond Ends.png Republican 2012
42 Vacant
43 George Campsen Ends.png Republican 2004
44 Paul Campbell Ends.png Republican 2007
45 Clementa Pinckney Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
46 Tom Davis Ends.png Republican 2008

State Senate Committees

The South Carolina State Senate has 15 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the South Carolina State Senate for the first nine years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 13 years. South Carolina was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 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 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 South Carolina, the South Carolina State Senate and the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of South Carolina state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links