The Nevada Senate is the upper house of the Nevada Legislature, the state legislature of U.S. state of Nevada, the lower house being the Nevada Assembly. It currently (2012–2021) consists of 21 members from single-member districts.[1] In the previous redistricting (2002–2011) there were 19 districts, two of which were multimember. Since 2012, there have been 21 districts, each formed by combining two neighboring state assembly districts. Each state senator represented approximately 128,598 as of the 2010 United States census. Article Four of the Constitution of Nevada sets that state senators serve staggered four-year terms.[2]

Nevada Senate
Nevada Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
3 terms (12 years)
New session started
February 6, 2023
Stavros Anthony (R)
since January 2, 2023
President pro tempore
Pat Spearman (D)
since February 6, 2023
Majority Leader
Nicole Cannizzaro (D)
since March 5, 2019
Minority Leader
Robin Titus (R)
since January 17, 2024
Political groups
  •   Democratic (13)


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle 4, Constitution of Nevada
(first 60 days)
per diem
(entire session)
Last election
November 8, 2022
(11 seats)
Next election
November 5, 2024
(10 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Legislative Building, Carson City

In addition, the size of the Senate is set to be no less than one-third and no greater than one-half of the size of the Assembly.[3] Term limits, limiting senators to three 4-year terms (12 years), took effect in 2010. Because of the change in Constitution, seven senators were termed out in 2010, four were termed out in 2012, and one was termed out in 2014. The Senate met at the Nevada State Capitol in Carson City until 1971, when a separate Legislative Building was constructed south of the Capitol. The Legislative Building was expanded in 1997 to its current appearance to accommodate the growing Legislature.



Boom and Bust era (1861–1918)


The first session of the Nevada Territorial Legislature was held in 1861. The Council was the precursor to the current Senate and the opposite chamber was called a House of Representatives which was later changed to be called the Assembly. There were nine members of the original Council in 1861 elected from districts as counties were not yet established.[4] Counties were established in the First Session of the Territorial Legislature and the size of the Council was increased to thirteen. From the first session of the Nevada Legislature once statehood was granted the size of the Senate ranged from eighteen members, in 1864, to a low of fifteen members from 1891 through 1899, and a high of twenty-five members from 1875 through 1879.[5]

Little Federalism era (1919–1966)


In 1919 the Senate started a practice called "Little Federalism," where each county received one member of the Nevada Senate regardless of population of said county. This set the Senate membership at seventeen which lasted until 1965–1967. The Supreme Court of the United States issued the opinion in Baker v. Carr in 1962 which found that the redistricting of state legislative districts are not political questions, and thus are justiciable by the federal courts. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Reynolds v. Sims and struck down state senate inequality, basing their decision on the principle of "one person, one vote." With those two cases being decided on a national level, Nevada Assemblywoman Flora Dungan and Las Vegas resident Clare W. Woodbury, M.D. filed suit in 1965 with the United States District Court for the District of Nevada arguing that Nevada's Senate districts violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and lacked of fair representation and proportional districts. At the time, less than 8 percent of the population of the State of Nevada controlled more than 50 percent of the Senate seats. The District Court found that both the Senate and the Assembly apportionment laws were "invidiously discriminatory, being based upon no constitutionally valid policy.[6]" It was ordered that Governor Grant Sawyer call a Special Session to submit a constitutionally valid reapportionment plan.[7] The 11th Special Session lasted from October 25, 1965 through November 13, 1965 and a plan was adopted to increase the size of the Senate from 17 to 20.

Modern era (1967–present)


The first election after the judicial intervention and newly adopted apportionment law was 1966 and its subsequent legislature consisted of 40 members from the Assembly and 20 members from the Senate. Nine incumbent senators from 1965 were not present in the legislature in 1967.[8] In the 1981 Legislative Session the size of the Senate was increased to twenty-one because of the population growth in Clark County. Following the 2008 election, Democrats took control of the Nevada Senate for the first time since 1991. In January 2011, Senator William Raggio resigned after 38 years of service.[9] On January 18, 2011, the Washoe County Commission selected former member of the Nevada Assembly and former United States Attorney Gregory Brower to fill the vacancy and remainder of the term of Senator William Raggio. After the 76th Session and the decennial redistricting the boundary changes and demographic profiles of the districts prompted a resignation of Senator Sheila Leslie, in February 2012, and she announced her intention to run against Sen. Greg Brower in 2012.[10] Later in February 2012, citing personal reasons, Senator Elizabeth Halseth resigned her suburban/rural Clark County seat.[11]

Legislative sessions

Legislative Session Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican
62nd Legislative Session, 1967 11 9 20
63rd Legislative Session, 1969 11 9 20
56th Legislative Session, 1971 13 7 20
57th Legislative Session, 1973 14 6 20
58th Legislative Session, 1975 17 3 20
59th Legislative Session, 1977 17 3 20
60th Legislative Session, 1979 15 5 20
61st Legislative Session, 1981 15 5 20
62nd Legislative Session, 1983 17 4 21
63rd Legislative Session, 1985 13 8 21
64th Legislative Session, 1987 9 12 21
65th Legislative Session, 1989 8 13 21
66th Legislative Session, 1991 11 10 21
67th Legislative Session, 1993 10 11 21
68th Legislative Session, 1995 8 13 21
69th Legislative Session, 1997 9 12 21
70th Legislative Session, 1999 9 12 21
71st Legislative Session,2001 9 12 21
72nd Legislative Session, 2003 8 13 21
73rd Legislative Session, 2005 10 11 21
74th Legislative Session, 2007 10 11 21
75th Legislative Session, 2009 12 9 21
76th Legislative Session, 2011 11 10 21
77th Legislative Session, 2013 11 10 21
78th Legislative Session, 2015 10 11 21
79th Legislative Session, 2017 11 8 21
80th Legislative Session, 2019 13 8 21
81st Legislative Session, 2021 12 9 21
82nd Legislative Session, 2023 13 8 21
Latest voting share 61.9% 38.1%

Current session

13 8
Democratic Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Ind Republican Vacant
Begin 78th, February 2014 10 0 11 21 0
End 78th, November 2016
Begin 79th, February 2017 11 0 10 21 0
End 79th, November 2018 10 1 8 19 2
November 7, 2018[12] 13 0 8 21 0
December 4, 2018[13]
March 5, 2019[14] 12 20 1
March 15, 2019[15] 13 21 0
Begin 82nd, February 2023 13 0 8 21 0
October 26, 2023[16] 7 20 1
Latest voting share 65% 35%

Historical activity of political parties

Socialist Party of AmericaSilver PartyPeople's Party (United States)Republican PartyNational Union Party (United States)Democratic Party

Composition and leadership of the 82nd Legislative session


Presiding over the Senate


The president of the Senate is the body's highest officer, although they only vote in the case of a tie, and only on procedural matters. Per Article 5, Section 17 of the Nevada Constitution, the lieutenant governor of Nevada serves as Senate president. In their absence, the president pro tempore presides and has the power to make commission and committee appointments. The president pro tempore is elected to the position by the majority party. The other partisan Senate leadership positions, such as the leader of the Senate and minority leader, are elected by their respective party caucuses to head their parties in the chamber. The current president of the Senate is Nevada Lieutenant Governor Stavros Anthony of the Republican Party.

Non-member officers


On the first day of a regular session, the Senate elects the non-member, nonpartisan administrative officers including the secretary of the Senate and the Senate sergeant at arms. The secretary of the Senate serves as the parliamentarian and chief administrative officer of the Senate and the sergeant at arms is chief of decorum and order for the Senate floor, galleries, and committee rooms. Claire J. Clift was originally appointed by then Republican Senate majority leader William Raggio. The Democratic Party took the majority in 2008 and she was retained until 2010.[17] In August 2010, then Senate majority leader Steven Horsford appointed David Byerman as the 41st secretary of the Senate.[18] The day after the 2014 general election, David Byerman was removed from his position and the previous secretary, Claire J. Clift, was re-appointed.[19] Retired chief of police Robert G. Milby was chosen as the Senate sergeant at arms for the 78th Legislative by the Republican majority leader. Both of the elected non-member officers serve at the pleasure of the Senate, thus they have a two-year term until the succeeding session. The Senate also approves by resolution the remainder of the nonpartisan Senate Session staff to work until the remainder of the 120 calendar day session.

82nd Session leadership



Position Name Party District
President/Lt. Governor Stavros Anthony Republican N/A
President pro tempore Pat Spearman Democratic District 1

Majority leadership

Position Name Party District
Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro Democratic District 6
Assistant Majority Leader Roberta Lange Democratic District 7
Chief Majority Whip Dallas Harris Democratic District 11
Co-Majority Whip Fabian Doñate Democratic District 10
Co-Majority Whip Melanie Scheible Democratic District 9

Minority leadership

Position Name Party District
Minority Leader Robin Titus Republican District 17
Assistant Minority Leader Carrie Buck Republican District 5
Minority Co-Whip Lisa Krasner Republican District 16
Minority Co-Whip Jeff Stone Republican District 20

Members of the 82nd Senate


Districts of the Nevada Assembly are nested inside the Senate districts, two per Senate district. The final Legislative redistricting plans as created by the Special Masters in 2011 and approved by District Court Judge James Todd Russell represent the first time since statehood Nevada's Assembly districts are wholly nested inside of a Senate district. Each Assembly district represents 1/42nd of Nevada's population and there are two Assembly districts per Senate district which represents 1/21st of Nevada's population.[20]

District Assembly
Name Party Residence Assumed office Next election
1 1, 17 Pat Spearman Democratic North Las Vegas 2012 20242
2 11, 28 Edgar Flores Democratic Las Vegas 2022 2026
3 3, 10 Rochelle Nguyen Democratic Las Vegas 20221 2024
4 6, 7 Dina Neal Democratic Las Vegas 2020 2024
5 22, 29 Carrie Buck Republican Henderson 2020 2024
6 34, 37 Nicole Cannizzaro Democratic Las Vegas 2016 2024
7 18, 20 Roberta Lange Democratic Las Vegas 2020 2024
8 2, 5 Marilyn Dondero Loop Democratic Las Vegas 2018 2026
9 9, 42 Melanie Scheible Democratic Las Vegas 2018 2026
10 15, 16 Fabian Doñate Democratic Las Vegas 20211 2026
11 8, 35 Dallas Harris Democratic Las Vegas 20181 2024
12 21, 41 Julie Pazina Democratic Las Vegas 2022 2026
13 24, 30 Skip Daly Democratic Sparks 2022 2026
14 31, 32 Ira Hansen Republican Sparks 2018 2026
15 25, 27 Heidi Gansert Republican Reno 2016 2024
16 26, 40 Lisa Krasner Republican Reno 2022 2026
17 38, 39 Robin Titus Republican Wellington 2022 2026
18 4, 13 Vacant 2024
19 33, 36 Pete Goicoechea Republican Eureka 2012 20242
20 19, 23 Jeff Stone Republican Las Vegas 2022 2026
21 12, 14 James Ohrenschall Democratic Las Vegas 2018 2026
  • 1 Senator was originally appointed.
  • 2 Due to term limits in the Nevada Constitution this individual is not eligible for re-election or appointment to the Nevada Senate

Senate standing committees of the 80th Session

Committee Chair Vice Chair Ranking Member of the Minority Number of Members
Commerce and Labor Patricia Spearman Vacant Joseph P. Hardy 8
Education Mo Denis Joyce Woodhouse Scott Hammond 7
Finance Joyce Woodhouse David Parks James A. Settelmeyer 8
Government Affairs David Parks Melanie Scheible Pete Goicoechea 5
Growth and Infrastructure Yvanna Cancela Chris Brooks Joseph P. Hardy 8
Health and Human Services Julia Ratti Pat Spearman Joseph P. Hardy 5
Judiciary Nicole Cannizzaro Dallas Harris Scott T. Hammond 8
Legislative Operations and Elections James Ohrenschall Nicole Cannizzaro Heidi Seevers Gansert 5
Natural Resources Melanie Scheible Chris Brooks Pete Goicoechea 5
Revenue and Economic Development Marilyn Dondero Loop Julia Ratti Ben Kieckhefer 5

Standing committees in the Senate have their jurisdiction set by the Senate Rules as adopted through Senate Resolution 1. To see an overview of the jurisdictions of standing committees in the Senate, see Standing Rules of the Senate, Section V, Rule 40.

Past composition of the Senate


See also



  1. ^ "Nevada State Senate - 2011 Districts" (PDF). Legislative Counsel Bureau. January 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Nevada Constitution". Legislative Counsel Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "Nevada Constitution". Legislative Counsel Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  4. ^ "Political History of Nevada" (PDF). Nevada State Printing Office. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Political History of Nevada" (PDF). Nevada State Printing Office. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Dungan v. Sawyer, 250 F.Supp. 480 (1965)
  7. ^ Dungan v. Sawyer, 250 F.Supp. 480 (1965)
  8. ^ "Political History of Nevada, Pages 284-286" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  9. ^ Sen. William Raggio (January 5, 2012). "Letter to Washoe County Commission" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Leslie Resigns State Senate Seat to Run in New District 15". Las Vegas Review Journal. February 15, 2012.
  11. ^ "Republican Halseth Resigning Senate Seat". Las Vegas Review Journal. February 17, 2012.
  12. ^ Election results. State legislators in Nevada assume office the day after the election.
  13. ^ Democrats Tick Segerblom (District 3) and Aaron D. Ford (District 11) resigned in order to take office as Clark County Commissioner and Attorney General of Nevada, respectively. The Clark County Commission selected Democrats Chris Brooks and Dallas Harris respectively to succeed them in the Senate. [1]
  14. ^ Democrat Kelvin Atkinson (District 4) resigned. [2]
  15. ^ Democrat Marcia Washington appointed to replace Atkinson. [3]
  16. ^ Republican Scott Hammond (District 18) resigned. [4]
  17. ^ Sean Whaley (May 25, 2010). "In Surprise Move, State Senate Majority Leader Replaces Long-Time Top Staffer". Nevada News Bureau.
  18. ^ "Nevada Senate Majority Leader Picks Census Bureau Liaison to Serve in Top Administrative Post". Nevada News Bureau. August 18, 2010.
  19. ^ "Claire Clift to return as Senate Secretary". Nevada Appeal. November 8, 2014.
  20. ^ Redistricting in Nevada

39°09′44″N 119°45′58″W / 39.162278°N 119.766136°W / 39.162278; -119.766136