Difference between revisions of "Wyoming State Senate"

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Revision as of 16:24, 15 May 2013

Wyoming State Senate

Seal of Wyoming.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Tony Ross, (R)
Majority Leader:   Phil Nicholas, (R)
Minority Leader:   Chris Rothfuss, (D)
Members:  30
   Democratic Party (4)
Republican Party (26)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art 3, Sec 3, Wyoming Constitution
Salary:   $150/day + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (15 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (15 seats)
Redistricting:  Wyoming Legislature has control
The Wyoming Senate is the upper house of the Wyoming State Legislature. There are 30 senators in the Senate. Each senator represents an average of 18,788 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 16,459 residents.[2]

Members of the Senate serve four-year terms without term limits.

The Wyoming Term Limits Referendum (1996) and Wyoming Term Limits Initiative (1996) both were approved in 1996 but these votes were held in 2004 not to have been successful by the Wyoming Supreme Court.

As of May 2013, Wyoming is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.


Article III of the Wyoming Constitution establishes when the Wyoming State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Sections 6 and 7 of Article III contain the relevant provisions. The Legislature is to convene in regular session for no more than sixty legislative working days every two years, and no more than forty legislative days in any year. In odd-numbered years, the Legislature meets for a general and budget session, beginning on the second Tuesday of January. In even-numbered years, the Legislature meets for a session devoted to budgetary matters.

Section 7 of Article III contains the provisions for convening special sessions of the Legislature. Special sessions can be convened by the proclamation of the Governor of Wyoming, or the Legislature can convene a special session of up to twenty legislative days if the session is requested by a majority of the members of each legislative house.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 8 through March 1.

Major issues

In what is expected to be a busy session, major issues include "opting out" of the Affordable Healthcare Act and Medicaid, a 10-cent fuel tax increase, infrastructure improvements, and reforms to sex crime laws.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from February 13 through March 9.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Legislature was in regular session from January 11 through March 3. [4] The 45 calendar days that the Wyoming Legislature was in session during 2011 is tied with Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Arkansas for the shortest legislative session in the country.[5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate convened for its biennial budget session, which lasted from February 8 to March 5.[6]



See also: Wyoming State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Wyoming State Senate will be held in Wyoming on November 6, 2012. A total of 15 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was June 1, 2012 and the primary date was August 21, 2012.

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


See also: Wyoming State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Wyoming's State Senate were held in Wyoming on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 28, 2010 (August 23 for independents). The primary election day was August 17, 2010. Of the 30 seats in the Senate, 15 are up for re-election. Incumbents ran in 10 of the seats. In addition, in 10 of the 15 seats, candidates are running unopposed in the November 2, 2010 general election.

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $259,183 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [7]


Section 2 of Article 3 of the Wyoming Constitution states, "Senators shall be elected for the term of four (4) years and representatives for the term of two (2) years. The senators elected at the first election shall be divided by lot into two classes as nearly equal as may be. The seats of senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first two years, and of the second class at the expiration of four years. No person shall be a senator who has not attained the age of twenty-five years, or a representative who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, and who is not a citizen of the United States and of this state and who has not, for at least twelve months next preceding his election resided within the county or district in which he was elected."


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, the Board of County Commissioners representing the vacant seat must select a replacement. The state central committee of the political party that last held the seat must submit a list of three candidates to the Board of County Commissioners. The party committee must submit the list of candidates within 30 days after the vacancy happened[8].

The Board of County Commissioners selects the replacement within five days of receiving the list of candidates. The person appointed to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term[9].


See also: Redistricting in Wyoming

The Wyoming State Legislature is responsible for drafting the new, redistricted maps. The initial drafting usually occurs in the Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions, and then must pass through both the House of Representatives and the State Senate. The Governor of Wyoming holds veto power over the map.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wyoming's population increased from just under 494,000 to over 563,000.[10] This increase of 14.5 percent was higher than the national average, but Wyoming still had less people than the average size for one Congressional district.[11][12]

The Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions decided to keep single-member districts and the current configuration of 30 members in the Senate and 60 members in the House.[13] Only 34 of the 90 old House and Senate districts were within the accepted five percent margin of error from the ideal population, suggesting that many districts would have to be reshuffled.[14] After having public hearings, the Committee adopted a complete map in December of 2011, and gave it final approval in January of 2012. The Senate and the House both passed the final map by very wide margins (28-2 in the Senate and 51-8 in the House) and Governor Matt Mead signed the map into law on March 6, 2012.[15][16]



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Wyoming Legislature are paid $150/day. Legislators receive $109/day per diem, set by the legislature.[17]


Wyoming does not provide pensions for legislators.[18]

When sworn in

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

Wyoming legislators assume office the first Monday in January following the election.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 4
     Republican Party 26
Total 30


Wyoming does not have the office of Lieutenant Governor, and so the President of the Senate is selected from the membership.[19]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Wyoming State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Tony Ross Ends.png Republican
Vice President of the Senate Eli Bebout Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Floor Leader Christopher Rothfuss Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Bernadine Craft Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader John Hastert Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, Wyoming State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Ogden Driskill Ends.png Republican 2011
2 Jim Anderson Ends.png Republican 2001
3 Curt Meier Ends.png Republican 1995
4 Tony Ross Ends.png Republican 2005
5 Fred Emerich Ends.png Republican 2011
6 Wayne Johnson Ends.png Republican 2005
7 Leslie Nutting Ends.png Republican 2011
8 Floyd Esquibel Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
9 Chris Rothfuss Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
10 Phil Nicholas Ends.png Republican 2005
11 Larry S. Hicks Ends.png Republican 2011
12 Bernadine Craft Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
13 John Hastert Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
14 Stan Cooper Ends.png Republican 2005
15 Paul Barnard Ends.png Republican 2011
16 Dan Dockstader Ends.png Republican 2009
17 Leland Christensen Ends.png Republican 2011
18 Henry Coe Ends.png Republican 1989
19 Ray Peterson Ends.png Republican 2004
20 Gerald Geis Ends.png Republican 1993
21 Bruce Burns Ends.png Republican 2003
22 John Schiffer Ends.png Republican 1993
23 John Hines Ends.png Republican 2003
24 Michael Von Flatern Ends.png Republican 2005
25 Cale Case Ends.png Republican 1999
26 Eli Bebout Ends.png Republican 2007
27 Bill Landen Ends.png Republican 2007
28 James Anderson Ends.png Republican 2013
29 Drew Perkins Ends.png Republican 2007
30 Charles Scott Ends.png Republican 1983

Senate Committees

The Wyoming Senate has 12 standing committees.

External links