Vermont Senate

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Vermont State Senate
Vermont General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type Upper house
Term limits None
History
New session started January 5, 2013
Leadership
Lieutenant Governor Phillip Scott, (R)
Since January 6, 2011
President Pro Tempore John F. Campbell, (D)
Since January 5, 2011
Majority Leader Philip Baruth, (D)
Since January 1, 2013
Minority Leader William T. Doyle, (R)
Since January 3, 2007
Structure
Seats 30
Political groups Democratic Party (20)
Republican Party (7)
Progressive Party (3)
Length of term 2 years
Authority Section 7, Legislative Department, Vermont Constitution
Salary $636/week + per diem
Elections
Last election November 2012
(30 seats)
Next election November 2014
(30 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber,
Vermont State Capitol
Montpelier, Vermont
Website
Vermont State Senate

The Vermont Senate is the upper house of the Vermont General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Vermont. The Senate consists of 30 members. Senate districting divides the 30 members into three single-member districts, six two-member districts, three three-member districts, and one six-member district. Each Senator represents at least 20,300 citizens. Senators are elected to two-year terms, and there is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve.

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 executive departments, the state cabinet, commissions, boards, and electing members to the Vermont Supreme Court.

The Vermont Senate meets at the Vermont State House in Montpelier.

History[edit]

Vermont had a unicameral legislature until 1836. It added a senate by constitutional amendment.[1]


Districting and terms[edit]

Senators are elected from a total of 13 single and multi-member Senate districts. The districts largely correspond to the boundaries of the state's 14 counties with adjustments to ensure equality of representation. Two small counties (Essex and Orleans) are combined into one district. Each district elects between 1 and 6 senators depending on population.

In addition, Vermont is one of the 14 states where the upper house of its state legislature serves at a two-year cycle, rather than the more common four-year term as in the majority of states.

Composition of the Senate[edit]

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Progressive Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 20 2 8 30 0
Begin[2] 19 3 7 29 1
January 22, 2013[3] 20 30 0
January 22, 2013[4] 19 29 1
Latest voting share 76% 24%

Leadership of the Senate[edit]

The Lieutenant Governor of Vermont serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a legislative vote if required to break a tie. In his or her absence, the President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate. 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 other Senate majority and minority leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses.

Committee assignments are determined by the Committee on Committees. This group consists of the Lieutenant Governor, the Senate President Pro Tem and one member chosen by the full Senate. For several years the third member of the committee has been Richard Mazza.

Current leadership[edit]

Position Name Party Residence District
Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott Rep
President Pro Tem of the Senate John F. Campbell Dem Quechee Windsor
Majority Leader Philip Baruth Dem Burlington Chittenden
Assistant Majority Leader Claire Ayer Dem Weybridge Addison
Minority Leader William T. Doyle Rep Montpelier Washington
Assistant Minority Leader Kevin Mullin Rep Rutland Town Rutland
Progressive Leader Anthony Pollina Prog Middlesex Washington

Members of the Senate, 2013-2015[edit]

District Representative Party Residence First elected
Addison Claire Ayer Dem Weybridge 2002
Christopher A. Bray Dem New Haven 2012
Bennington Robert Hartwell Dem Manchester Center 2006
Richard Sears Dem North Bennington 1992
Caledonia Joe Benning Rep St. Johnsbury 2010
Jane Kitchel Dem Danville 2004
Chittenden Tim Ashe Prog/Dem Burlington 2008
Ginny Lyons Dem Williston 2000
Philip Baruth Dem Burlington 2010
Diane Snelling Rep Hinesburg 2002
David Zuckerman Prog/Dem Burlington 2012
Vacant
Essex-Orleans John S. Rodgers Dem Glover 2012
Robert Starr Dem North Troy 2004
Franklin Norm McAllister Rep Franklin 2012
Donald Collins Dem Swanton 2012
(2003-2009)
Grand Isle Richard Mazza Dem Colchester 1984
Lamoille Rich Westman Rep Hyde Park 2010
Orange Mark MacDonald Dem Williamstown 2003
(1997-1999)
Rutland Eldred French Dem Shrewsbury 2013†
Peg Flory Rep Pittsford 2010
Kevin Mullin Rep Rutland 2003
Washington Ann Cummings Dem Montpelier 1996
William T. Doyle Rep Montpelier 1968
Anthony Pollina Prog/Dem Middlesex 2010
Windham Peter Galbraith Dem Townshend 2010
Jeanette White Dem Putney 2002
Windsor John F. Campbell Dem Quechee 2000
Richard McCormack Dem Bethel 2006
(1989-2003)
Alice Nitka Dem Ludlow 2006
†Originally appointed

Operations[edit]

The full Senate meets Tuesday and Friday mornings only for the first seven weeks of the annual session.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Democrat Bill Carris (Rutland) resigned December 17, 2012 due to health reasons.
  3. ^ Democrat Eldred French appointed to replace Carris.
  4. ^ Democrat Sally Fox (Chittenden) died. [2]
  5. ^ Remsen, Nancy and Hallenbeck, Teri (January 8, 2009). Following the Legislature. Burlington Free Press. 

External links[edit]