California State Senate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 38°34′36″N 121°29′37″W / 38.57667°N 121.49361°W / 38.57667; -121.49361

California State Senate
California State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
Elected before 2012:
2 terms (8 years)
Elected 2012 and after:
3 terms (12 years)
New session started
December 3, 2012
Gavin Newsom (D)
since January 10, 2011
Kevin de León (D)
since December 1, 2008
Majority Leader
Ellen Corbett (D)
since December 6, 2010
Minority Leader
Bob Huff (R)
since January 5, 2012
Seats 40
Composition of the California State Senate
Political groups
Democratic Party (25)
Republican Party (12)
Suspended (3)
Length of term
4 years
Authority Article 4, California Constitution
Salary $90,526/year + per diem
Last election
November 6, 2012
Next election
November 4, 2014
Redistricting California Citizens Redistricting Commission
Senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri
("It is the duty of the senators to protect the liberty of the people.")
Meeting place
California Senate chamber p1080899.jpg
State Senate Chamber
California State Capitol
Sacramento, California
California State Senate

The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. The legislative body consists of 40 members, with each member representing approximately 931,000 people. Due to the state's large population and relatively small legislature, the State Senate has the largest population per representative ratio of any state legislative house. In the United States House of Representatives, California is apportioned 53 representatives, each representing approximately 704,566 people,[1] while in the State Senate, each of the 40 Senators represents approximately 931,349 people,[2] with the result that California state senators each actually represent more voters than California's representatives to the United States Congress do. As a result of Proposition 140 in 1990 and Proposition 28 in 2012, members elected to the legislature prior to 2012 are restricted by term limits to two four-year terms (eight years), while those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years in the legislature in any combination of four-year state senate or two-year state assembly terms.[3]

The State Senate convenes at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.


Prior to 1968, state senate districts were restricted such that one county could hold at most only one seat. This led to the situation of Los Angeles County, with 6 million residents in 1968, receiving 600 times less representation than residents of Alpine County and Calaveras County, some of California's least populous counties. In Reynolds v. Sims, the United States Supreme Court compelled all states to draw up districts with equal population. As such, boundaries were changed to provide more equitable representation.


The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote. The President pro tem is elected by the majority party caucus, followed by confirmation of the full senate. Other leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses according to each party's strength in the chamber.

The current president pro tem is Democrat Kevin de León (22ndLos Angeles). The majority leader is Democrat Ellen Corbett (10thHayward), while the minority leader is Republican Bob Huff (29thDiamond Bar).

Meeting chamber[edit]

The red tones of the California State Senate Chamber are based on the British House of Lords, which is outfitted in a similar color. The dais rests along a wall shaped like an "E", with its central projection housing the rostrum. Along the cornice appears a portrait of George Washington and the Latin quotation: senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri ("It is the duty of the senators to protect the liberty of the people"). Almost every decorating element is identical to the Assembly Chamber.


Position Name Party District
  President of the Senate Gavin Newsom Democratic
  President Pro Tempore Kevin de León Democratic 22nd–Los Angeles
  Majority leader Ellen Corbett Democratic 10th–Hayward
  Majority caucus chair Jerry Hill Democratic 13th–San Mateo
  Majority whip Vacant
  Minority leader Bob Huff Republican 29th–Diamond Bar
  Minority caucus chair Ted Gaines Republican 1st–Rocklin
  Minority whip Vacant
Secretary Greg Schmidt
Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard, Jr.

The Secretary and the Sergeant-at-Arms are not members of the Legislature.


Composition of the California State Senate
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party
25 1 2 12
Democratic Vacant Suspended Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant Suspended
End of previous legislature 25 14 39 1 0
Begin[4] 29 10 39 1 0
January 2, 2013[5] 27 37 3
January 10, 2013[6] 11 38 2
February 22, 2013[7] 26 37 3
March 21, 2013[8] 27 38 2
May 20, 2013[9] 28 39 1
July 1, 2013[10] 27 38 2
August 10, 2013[11] 12 39 1
September 26, 2013[12] 28 40 0
December 1, 2013[13] 11 39 1
March 28, 2014[14] 25 36 3
April 4, 2014[15] 12 37 0
September 22, 2014[16] 1 2
Latest voting share 67.6% 32.4%

Seating chart[edit]

Wyland Anderson Monning Galgiani Correa Leno Hernandez Lara de León Block DeSaulnier Wolk
Walters Berryhill Cannella Hueso Morrell Hill Roth Lieu Vacant Vacant Liu Hancock
Gaines Nielsen Knight Vidak Fuller Huff Jackson Mitchell Evans Torres Pavley Beall
Padilla Steinberg Corbett Vacant


Current committees include:[17]


  • Senate Committee on Agriculture
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Fiscal Oversight and Bonded Indebtedness
  • Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions
  • Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections
  • Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development
  • Senate Committee on Education
    • Senate Education Subcommittee on Sustainable School Facilities
  • Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments
  • Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications
  • Senate Committee on Environmental Quality
  • Senate Committee on Governmental Organizations
  • Senate Committee on Governance and Finance
  • Senate Committee on Health
  • Senate Committee on Human Services
  • Senate Committee on Insurance
  • Senate Committee on Judiciary
  • Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics
  • Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water
    • Senate Natural Resources and Water Subcommittee on Urban Rivers
  • Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement
  • Senate Committee on Public Safety
  • Senate Committee on Rules
  • Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing
  • Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs


  • Joint Committee on Arts
  • Joint Committee on Fairs, Allocation and Classification
  • Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Joint Committee on Legislative Audit
  • Joint Committee on Rules
  • Joint Legislative Budget
  • Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management


  • Senate Office of Research
  • Senate Office of Demographics
  • Senate Office of Floor Analysis
  • Senate Office of International Relations
  • Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Apportionment Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  2. ^ "Senate Roster". State of California. 
  3. ^ "Article 4. Legislative". California Constitution. California Legislative Counsel. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ Vacant since September 1, 2012 when Republican Doug LaMalfa (District 4) resigned to run for Congress.
  5. ^ Democrats Gloria Negrete McLeod (District 32) and Juan Vargas (District 40) resigned to take office in Congress.
  6. ^ Republican Jim Nielsen sworn in to succeed LaMalfa.
  7. ^ Democrat Michael Rubio (District 16) resigned to take a job with Chevron.
  8. ^ Democrat Ben Hueso sworn in to succeed Vargas.
  9. ^ Democrat Norma Torres sworn in to succeed Negrete McLeod.
  10. ^ Democrat Curren Price resigns to take office on the Los Angeles City Council.
  11. ^ Republican Andy Vidak sworn in to succeed Rubio.
  12. ^ Democrat Holly Mitchell sworn in to succeed Price.
  13. ^ Republican Bill Emmerson resigns for personal reasons.
  14. ^ Democrats Ron Calderon, Rod Wright, and Leland Yee suspended for criminal allegations and convictions.
  15. ^ Republican Mike Morrell sworn in to succeed Emmerson.
  16. ^ Democrat Rod Wright resigns to serve jail sentence after being convicted of perjury and voter fraud.
  17. ^ "California Senate Committees". Open States. Sunlight Foundation. 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 

External links[edit]