Connecticut Senate

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Connecticut State Senate
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 9, 2013
Nancy Wyman (D)
since January 5, 2011
Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D)
since July 1, 2005
Majority Leader
Martin M. Looney (D)
since January 8, 2003
Minority Leader
John P. McKinney (R)
since June 14, 2007
Seats 36
Political groups

Governing party

Opposition party

Length of term
2 years
Authority Article III, Section 1, Connecticut Constitution
Salary $28,000/year
Last election
November 4, 2014
(36 seats)
Next election
November 1, 2016
(36 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
Connecticut State Capitol, Hartford.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Connecticut State Capitol
Hartford, Connecticut
Official Senate Page

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.

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.


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 Senate[edit]

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 Nancy Wyman of the Democratic Party. The President pro tempore is Democrat Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Scotland). The Majority Leader is Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and the Minority Leader is John McKinney (R-Fairfield).

Current leadership[edit]

Position Senator District
  Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman N/A
  President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr. 29
  Majority Leader Martin M. Looney 11
  Minority Leader John P. McKinney 28

Make-up of the Senate[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 22 14 36 0
Begin 22 14 36 0
End of previous legislature
Begin 21 15 36 0
Latest voting share 58.3% 41.7%

Members of the Senate[edit]

Current members of the Connecticut Senate, as of February 14, 2013.

District Name[2] Party Hometown First elected Towns represented
1 John Fonfara Dem Hartford 1996 Hartford (part), Wethersfield (part)
2 Eric D. Coleman Dem Bloomfield 1994 Bloomfield (part), Hartford (part), Windsor (part)
3 Gary LeBeau Dem East Hartford 1996 East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington (part), South Windsor
4 Steve Cassano Dem Manchester 2010 Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester
5 Beth Bye Dem West Hartford 2010 Bloomfield (part), Burlington, Farmington (part), West Hartford
6 Theresa Gerratana Dem New Britain 2011 Berlin, Farmington (part), New Britain
7 John A. Kissel Rep Enfield 1992 East Granby, Enfield, Granby (part), Somers, Suffield, Windsor (part), Windsor Locks
8 Kevin Witkos Rep Simsbury 2008 Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby (part), Hartland, Harwinton (part), New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington (part)
9 Paul R. Doyle Dem Wethersfield 2006 Cromwell, Middletown (part), Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield (part)
10 Gary Holder-Winfield Dem New Haven 2014 New Haven (part), West Haven (part)
11 Martin M. Looney Dem New Haven 1993 Hamden (part), New Haven (part), North Haven (part)
12 Edward Meyer Dem Guilford 2004 Branford, Durham (part), Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford
13 Danté Bartolomeo Dem Meriden 2012 Cheshire (part), Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown (part)
14 Gayle Slossberg Dem Milford 2004 Milford, Orange, West Haven (part), Woodbridge (part)
15 Joan V. Hartley Dem Waterbury 2000 Middlebury (part), Naugatuck (part), Waterbury (part)
16 Joe Markley Rep Southington 2010 Cheshire (part), Prospect, Southington, Waterbury (part), Wolcott
17 Joseph Crisco, Jr. Dem Woodbridge 1992 Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden (part), Naugatuck (part), Woodbridge (part)
18 Andrew M. Maynard Dem Stonington 2006 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
20 Andrea Stillman Dem Waterford 2004 Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, Waterford
21 Kevin Kelly Rep Stratford 2010 Monroe (part), Seymour (part), Shelton, Stratford (part)
22 Anthony Musto Dem Bridgeport 2008 Bridgeport (part), Monroe (part), Trumbull
23 Andres Ayala Dem Bridgeport 2012 Bridgeport (part), Stratford (part)
24 Michael McLachlan Rep Danbury 2008 Bethel (part), Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman
25 Bob Duff Dem Norwalk 2000 Darien (part), Norwalk
26 Toni Boucher Rep Wilton 2008 Bethel (part), New Canaan (part), Redding, Ridgefield, Weston (part), Westport (part), Wilton
27 Carlo Leone Dem Stamford 2011 Darien (part), Stamford (part)
28 John P. McKinney Rep Southport 1998 Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston (part), Westport (part)
29 Donald E. Williams, Jr. Dem Brooklyn 1992 Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson, Windham
30 Clark J. Chapin Rep Goshen 2012 Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington (part), Warren, Winchester
31 Jason Welch Rep Bristol 2010 Bristol, Harwinton (part), Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston
32 Rob Kane Rep Watertown 2008 Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury (part), Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour (part), Southbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury
33 Art Linares Rep Westbrook 2012 Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Portland, Westbrook
34 Len Fasano Rep North Haven 2002 Durham (part), East Haven, North Haven (part), Wallingford
35 Tony Guglielmo Rep Stafford 1992 Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington (part), Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock
36 Scott Frantz Rep Greenwich 2008 Greenwich, New Canaan (part), Stamford (part)
  • Senator Toni N. Harp resigned to become Mayor of New Haven. A special election to fill her seat will be held in February in which State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield is the only candidate.

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "Senate Members (listed alphabetically)". Connecticut General Assembly. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]