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The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Connecticut. The state senate comprises 36 members, each representing a district with around 99,280 inhabitants. Senators are elected to two-year terms without term limits. The Connecticut State Senate is one of 14 state legislative upper houses whose members serve two-year terms; four-year terms are more common.

Connecticut State Senate
Connecticut General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 9, 2019
Leadership
Susan Bysiewicz (D)
since January 9, 2019
Martin Looney (D)
since January 7, 2015
Majority Leader
Bob Duff (D)
since January 7, 2015
Minority Leader
Len Fasano (R)
since January 7, 2015
Structure
Seats36
Diagram of state Senate 2012 Connecticut.svg
Political groups
Majority

Minority

Length of term
2 years
AuthorityArticle III, Section 1, Connecticut Constitution
Salary$28,000/year
Elections
Last election
November 6, 2018
(36 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(36 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Connecticut State Capitol
Hartford, Connecticut
Website
Official Senate Page

As in other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the Senate is reserved with special functions such as confirming or rejecting gubernatorial appointments to the state's executive departments, the state cabinet, commissions and boards. Unlike a majority of U.S. state legislatures, both the Connecticut House of Representatives and the State Senate vote on the composition to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The Senate meets within the State Capitol in Hartford.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Senate has its basis in the earliest incarnation of the General Assembly, the "General Corte" established in 1636 whose membership was divided between at least six generally elected magistrates (the predecessor of the Senate) and three-member "committees" representing each of the towns of the Connecticut Colony (the predecessors of the House of Representatives). The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, adopted in 1639, renamed the committees to "deputies", the Corte to the Court, and established that the magistrates were generally elected for yearlong terms; the magistrate who received the highest number of votes would serve as governor for the year, so long as he had previously served as a magistrate and had not been governor the previous year. Other magistrates were elected deputy governor, secretary, and treasurer. Although the magistrates and deputies sat together, they voted separately and in 1645 it was decreed that a measure had to have the approval of both groups in order to pass. The Charter of 1662 replaced the six magistrates with twelve assistants, not including the governor and deputy governor, and renamed the legislature to the General Assembly. In 1698, the General Assembly split into a bicameral body, divided between the Council and the House of Representatives. The Council contained the twelve assistants, deputy governor, and governor, who led the body, while the House was led by a Speaker elected from among its members. Because the governor led it and other notables sat in it, the Council took precedence to the House and when the two chambers were at odds, the House deferred to the Council. The 1818 constitution renamed the Council to the Senate, removed the governor and deputy governor from its membership, and removed all remaining judicial and executive authority from it, but it remained largely the same in that it still consisted of twelve generally elected members. It was in 1828 that senatorial districts were established and the number of senators revised to between eight and twenty-four; the number was altered to between twenty-four and thirty-six in 1901, with the General Assembly setting it at thirty-six immediately. Senatorial terms were raised to two years in 1875.[1]

In 1814–15, the Hartford Convention met in the Connecticut Senate chamber of what is now the Old State House.

Leadership of the SenateEdit

The Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a vote if required to break a tie. In his or her absence, the President Pro Tempore of the Connecticut Senate presides. The President pro tempore is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the entire Senate through a Senate Resolution. The President pro tempore is the chief leadership position in the Senate. The Senate majority and minority leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses.

The President of the Senate is Susan Bysiewicz of the Democratic Party. The President pro tempore is Democrat Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). The Majority Leader is Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and the Minority Leader is Len Fasano (R-North Haven).

Current leadershipEdit

Position Senator District
Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz N/A
President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney 11
Majority Leader Bob Duff 25
Minority Leader Len Fasano 34

Make-up of the SenateEdit

As of February 2019, the current makeup of the Connecticut Senate composes of 22 seats for Democrats and 14 seats for Republicans.

 
22 14
Democratic Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of Previous Legislature: 2017-2019 18 18 36 0
Begin 2019 23 13 36 0
January 2019[2] 20 13 36 3
February 26, 2019[3] 22 14 36 0
Latest voting share 61.1% 38.9% 100%

Members of the SenateEdit

Current members of the Connecticut Senate, as of March 5, 2019.

District Name[4] Party Hometown First elected Towns represented Occupation
1 John Fonfara Dem Hartford 1996 Hartford (part), Wethersfield (part) Marketing Consultant
2 Douglas McCrory Dem Bloomfield 2017↑ Bloomfield (part), Hartford (part), Windsor (part)
3 Dr. Saud Anwar Dem South Windsor 2019↑ East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington (part), South Windsor Physician
4 Steve Cassano Dem Manchester 2010 Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester Daycare Owner
5 Derek Slap Dem 2019↑ Bloomfield (part), Burlington, Farmington (part), West Hartford
6 Gennaro Bizzarro Rep New Britain 2019↑ Berlin, Farmington (part), New Britain Lawyer
7 John A. Kissel Rep Enfield 1992 East Granby, Enfield, Granby (part), Somers, Suffield, Windsor (part), Windsor Locks Corporate Attorney
8 Kevin Witkos Rep Canton 2008 Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby (part), Hartland, Harwinton (part), New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington (part) Utility Executive
9 Matt Lesser Dem Middletown 2018 Cromwell, Middletown (part), Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield (part)
10 Gary Winfield Dem New Haven 2014↑ New Haven (part), West Haven (part) Photographer, Business Owner
11 Martin M. Looney Dem New Haven 1993 Hamden (part), New Haven (part), North Haven (part) Attorney
12 Christine Cohen Dem Guilford 2018 Branford, Durham (part), Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford Owner of Cohen's Bagel Company, Guilford Board of Education member.[5]
13 Mary Daugherty Abrams Dem Meriden 2018 Cheshire (part), Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown (part)
14 James Maroney Dem Milford 2018 Milford, Orange, West Haven (part), Woodbridge (part) Retired Attorney
15 Joan V. Hartley Dem Waterbury 2000 Middlebury (part), Naugatuck (part), Waterbury (part) Teacher
16 Robert Sampson Rep Wolcott 2018 Cheshire (part), Prospect, Southington, Waterbury (part), Wolcott Realtor
17 George Logan Rep Ansonia 2016 Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden (part), Naugatuck (part), Woodbridge (part)
18 Heather Somers Rep Groton 2016 Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown
19 Catherine A. Osten Dem Columbia 2012 Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville (part), Norwich, Sprague Corrections officer
First Selectman
20 Paul Formica Rep East Lyme 2014 Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, Waterford
21 Kevin C. Kelly Rep Stratford 2010 Monroe (part), Seymour (part), Shelton, Stratford (part)
22 Marilyn Moore Dem Bridgeport 2014 Bridgeport (part), Monroe (part), Trumbull
23 Dennis Bradley Dem Bridgeport 2018 Bridgeport (part), Stratford (part)
24 Julie Kushner Dem Danbury 2018 Bethel (part), Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman
25 Bob Duff Dem Norwalk 2000 Darien (part), Norwalk Realtor
26 Will Haskell Dem Westport 2018 Bethel (part), New Canaan (part), Redding, Ridgefield, Weston (part), Westport (part), Wilton
27 Carlo Leone Dem Stamford 2011 Darien (part), Stamford (part) Financial Analyst
28 Tony Hwang Rep Fairfield 2014 Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston (part), Westport (part)
29 Mae Flexer Dem Danielson 2014 Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson, Windham
30 Craig Miner Rep Litchfield 2016 Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington (part), Warren, Winchester
31 Henri Martin Rep Bristol 2014 Bristol, Harwinton (part), Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston Real Estate Business Owner
32 Eric Berthel Rep Watertown 2017↑ Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury (part), Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour (part), Southbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury Strategic Outreach
33 Norman Needleman Dem Essex 2018 Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Portland, Westbrook First Selectman
34 Len Fasano Rep North Haven 2002 Durham (part), East Haven, North Haven (part), Wallingford Attorney
35 Dan Champagne Rep Vernon 2018 Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington (part), Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock
36 Alexandra Bergstein Dem Greenwich 2018 Greenwich, New Canaan (part), Stamford (part) Attorney
  • ↑Senator was first elected in a special election.

Past composition of the SenateEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Under the Gold Dome: An Insider's Look at the Connecticut Legislature, by Judge Robert Satter. New Haven: Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, 2004, pp. 16–27.
  2. ^ Democrats Tim Larson (District 3), Beth Bye (District 5) and Terry Gerratana (District 6) resigned to join Governor Lamont's administration.
  3. ^ Democrat Saud Anwar (District 3), Democrat Derek Slap (District 5), and Republican Gennaro Bizzaro (District 6) elected to replace Tim Larson, Beth Bye, and Terry Gerratana respectively.
  4. ^ "Senate Members (listed alphabetically)". Connecticut General Assembly. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  5. ^ http://www.branfordseven.com/news/local/guilford-businesswoman-christine-cohen-to-seek-state-senate-seat/article_b9171e4c-2b73-11e8-a74c-cb2c8515b775.html

External linksEdit