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The Louisiana State Senate (French: Sénat de Louisiane) is the upper house of the state legislature of Louisiana. All senators serve four-year terms and are assigned multiple committees to work on. The current Senate President John Alario from Westwego.

Louisiana State Senate
Sénat de Louisiane
Louisiana State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
3 terms (12 years)
New session started
March 14, 2016
John A. Alario, Jr. (R)
since January 9, 2012
Gerald Long (R)
since January 11, 2016
Danny Martiny (R)
since January 9, 2012
Danny Martiny (R)
since March, 2012
Senate diagram 2014 State of Louisiana.svg
Political groups


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle III, Section 3, Louisiana Constitution
Last election
October 24 and November 21, 2015
(39 seats)
Next election
October 12 and November 16, 2019
(39 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Louisiana State Senate.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Louisiana State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State Senate


The Louisiana State Senate is composed of 39 senators elected from single-member districts from across the state of Louisiana by the electors thereof. Senators must be a qualified elector (registered voter), be at least eighteen years of age, be domiciled in their district for at least one year, and must have been a resident of the state for at least two years. The senate is the judge of its members' qualifications and elections. All candidates for a senate seat in a district run in nonpartisan blanket primary and in a runoff if necessary. Elections to the Senate occur every four years and senators are limited three four-year terms (12 years). If a seat is vacated early during a term then it will be filled in a special election. Senate sessions occur every year, along with the Louisiana House of Representatives. The Senate convenes for sixty legislative days in general session in even-numbered years, and for forty-five days in appropriations session in odd-numbered years. The Senate is the upper legislative chamber of the Louisiana State Legislature and, along with the Louisiana House of Representatives, is the legislative power of the State of Louisiana. In addition it tries officials impeached by the House of Representatives and confirms or rejects officials nominated by the Governor of Louisiana.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of previous legislature 22 17 39 0
Begin 2012 24 15 39 0
End 2015 24 13
Begin 2016 25 14 39 0
February 26, 2017[1] 13 38 1
May 28, 2017[2] 14 39 0
Latest voting share 64.1% 35.9%

Current membershipEdit

District Name Party District Office First elected Eligible for reelection
1 Sharon Hewitt Rep Slidell 2015 Yes
2 Ed Price Dem Gonzales 2017† Yes
3 Jean-Paul Morrell Dem New Orleans 2008† No
4 Wesley T. Bishop Dem New Orleans 2015 Yes
5 Karen Carter Peterson Dem New Orleans 2010† Yes
6 Bodi White Rep Baton Rouge 2011 Yes
7 Troy Carter Dem New Orleans 2015 Yes
8 John Alario Rep Westwego 2007 No
9 Conrad Appel Rep Metairie 2008† No
10 Danny Martiny Rep Metairie 2007 No
11 Jack Donahue Rep Mandeville 2007 No
12 Beth Mizell Rep Franklinton 2015 Yes
13 Dale M. Erdey Rep Livingston 2007 No
14 Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb Dem Baton Rouge 2007 No
15 Regina Barrow Dem Baton Rouge 2015 Yes
16 Dan Claitor Rep Baton Rouge 2009† No
17 Rick Ward, III Rep Port Allen 2011 Yes
18 Eddie J. Lambert Rep Prairieville 2015 Yes
19 Gary Smith, Jr. Dem Norco 2011 Yes
20 Norby Chabert Rep Houma 2009† No
21 Bret Allain Rep Franklin 2011 Yes
22 Fred Mills, Jr. Rep New Iberia 2011† Yes
23 Page Cortez Rep Lafayette 2011 Yes
24 Gerald Boudreaux Dem Lafayette 2015 Yes
25 Dan "Blade" Morrish Rep Jennings 2007 No
26 Bob Hensgens Rep Abbeville 2018† Yes
27 Ronnie Johns Rep Lake Charles 2011 Yes
28 Eric LaFleur Dem Ville Platte 2007 No
29 Jay Luneau Dem Alexandria 2015 Yes
30 John R. Smith Rep Leesville 2007 No
31 Gerald Long Rep Winnfield 2007 No
32 Neil Riser Rep Columbia 2007 No
33 Mike Walsworth Rep West Monroe 2007 No
34 Francis C. Thompson Dem Delhi 2007 No
35 James R. Fannin Rep Jonesboro 2015 Yes
36 Ryan Gatti Rep Bossier City 2015 Yes
37 Barrow Peacock Rep Bossier City 2011 Yes
38 John Milkovich Dem Keithville 2015 Yes
39 Gregory Tarver Dem Shreveport 2011 Yes

†First elected in a special election

Senate CommitteesEdit

The Louisiana State Senate currently has over fifteen different committees in which the senators sit. These committees address a wide range of issues such as environmental quality, education, labor relations and more . A full list of the committees can be found at the senate committees page.[3] Likewise, a full list of committee assignments (by member) can be found at the committee assignments page.[4]

Name Chairman Vice Chairman
Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development Francis Thompson James Fannin
Commerce, Consumer Protection, and International Affairs Danny Martiny Bodi White
Education Blade Morrish John Milkovich
Environmental Quality Mike Walsworth Conrad Appel
Finance Eric LaFleur Bret Allain
Health and Welfare Fred Mills Regina Barrow
Insurance John R. Smith Ryan Gatti
Judiciary A Rick Ward Jay Luneau
Judiciary B Gary Smith Ronnie Johns
Judiciary C Dan Claitor Bob Hensgens
Labor and Industrial Relations Neil Riser Troy Carter
Local and Municipal Affairs Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb Jack Donahue
Natural Resources Norby Chabert Eddie Lambert
Retirement Barrow Peacock Ed Price
Revenue and Fiscal Affairs J. P. Morrell Dale Erdey
Senate and Governmental Affairs Karen Carter Peterson Wesley Bishop
Transportation, Highways, & Public Works Page Cortez Sharon Hewitt

President of the SenateEdit

The President of the Louisiana State Senate is the presiding officer of the Louisiana State Senate and the highest-ranking state senator. The President is elected by the members of the state senate. Although not mandated by law or the Louisiana Constitution the Governor usually chooses the president, who in turn is usually elected by a near-unanimous, if not unanimous, vote. The president is usually chosen from the majority party, even if it is not the Governor's party, although this is not always the case. One example of this is when Republican Governor Mike Foster chose Republican State Senator John Hainkel to serve as senate president even though the Democrats had a large majority. One factor that allows for this is that the Governor usually has support on both sides of the aisle when he first enters office so his appointees, including the senate president, are usually confirmed easily.

The President is fifth in the line of succession to the Governorship after the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State Treasurer.


Early yearsEdit

The Louisiana Constitution of 1812 did not provide for a lieutenant governor to succeed to the governorship in case of the governor's death, resignation or removal from office, neither would there be a lieutenant governor to preside over the state senate, instead it provided that the President would serve as the state senate's presiding officer and become acting governor until the seating of an elected governor. The first senate president to succeed to the governorship was Henry S. Thibodaux, who succeeded to the position in 1824 after the resignation of Governor Thomas B. Robertson. Thibodaux served for one month before the Governor-elect, Henry Johnson, took office. In 1829 Governor Pierre Derbigny died in a carriage accident, allowing for Senate President Armand Beauvais to become acting governor. Beauvais resigned after only three months in 1830 to run in the special election to fill the post. The new senate president, Jacques Dupré, became the new acting Governor until he resigned in 1831 and was replaced by governor-elect André B. Roman.

Lieutenant Governor as PresidentEdit

In the Louisiana Constitution of 1846 the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana assumed the functions of the senate presidency. This arrangement lasted until 1976. The first lieutenant governor to preside over the Senate was Trasimond Landry who served from 1846 until 1850. During the Civil War there were two lieutenant governors, one union, and one confederate, as there were two separate state governments. During the Reconstruction the post was held by Republicans, thereafter the chair was held by Democrats for over a hundred years.

Democratic Domination (1877–1976)Edit

From the end of the Reconstruction in 1877 until the appointment of John Hainkel in 2000, the senate chair was held by Democrats. During this time most lieutenant governors were allies of the Governor, with notable exceptions. During this time several senate presidents pro tempore became acting lieutenant governor due to the premature vacating of the office of lieutenant governor. On at least two occasions it was due the ascension the lieutenant governor to the governorship, in the case of the others it was because of the death, resignation or removal of the lieutenant governor. When the seat was vacated the president pro tempore became acting lieutenant governor in accordance with the constitution, and on two occasions the president pro tempore became governor. In 1976 with implementation of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 the lieutenant governor assumed executive duties and the gavel once again passed to a senate elected President.

Two-party system (1976–present)Edit

The reinstatement of the elected senate presidency and the installation of a new constitution brought with it something Louisiana had not seen since the 1850s; a two-party system. Also new to the presidency the practicing of appointing of the president by the Governor. This practice had been applied to the state House Speakership for years. In 1980 something that had not happened since the Reconstruction became a reality; a Republican governor was in office. David Treen was elected in 1979, and with him came more Republican legislators, although only an enlarged minority, and in 2000, although still in the minority, Republican John Hainkel was appointed by Republican Governor Murphy J. Foster, Jr. to be senate president, the first Republican in over a century. In 2011 the Republicans obtained a majority in the senate, a Republican John Alario was appointed senate president by Republican Governor Bobby Jindal.


The President of the Senate serves as the presiding officer and head of the Senate. The President gives the senators their committee assignment although the assignments are already predetermined by the Governor and his office. During legislative sessions the President can play a key role in the passage or rejection of legislation in the legislature, due to the office's prestige, power, and influence. If a senator supports the Governor's agenda the president may promote them to more powerful committees, or even appoint them chairman or vice chairmanships. The president usually maintains a strong hold on the senate and legislation through his appointment of committee memberships and committee chairmen. The president has the power to rule on points of order recognize senators so they may speak and control the flow of legislation through the senate. The senate president is almost always an ally of the Governor, this allows the administration to pass their legislative agenda through easier and it allows them to kill opposition legislation easier too. The senate president is usually a powerful and influential senator before he is appointed senate president. If a senate seat falls vacant before the expiration f its term the senate president calls for an election, he sets the date, times, and places of voting. Upon the petition of a majority of the members of the legislature the President along with the Speakers calls a special session. The senate president is fifth in the gubernatorial line of succession. If the president is ever absent the senate president pro tempore, who is also appointed by the governor, presides. Should the senate chair ever fall permanently vacant the senate president pro tempore presides until the election of a new president.

Past composition of the SenateEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Democrat Troy E. Brown (District 2) resigned after pleading Nolo contendere to domestic abuse charges.
  2. ^ Rep. Ed Price elected to replace Troy E. Brown (D-2)."Ed Price wins special election run-off to fill Troy Brown's state senate seat". The Advocate. May 27, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "Louisiana State Senate - Committees".
  4. ^ "Louisiana State Senate - Senators".

External linksEdit