South Carolina Senate
|South Carolina State Senate|
|South Carolina General Assembly|
New session started
|January 8, 2013|
Length of term
|Authority||Article III, South Carolina Constitution|
|Salary||$10,400/year + per diem|
|November 6, 2012
|November 8, 2016
|State Senate Chamber
South Carolina State House
Columbia, South Carolina
|South Carolina State Senate|
The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly, the lower house being the South Carolina House of Representatives. It consists of 46 senators elected from single member districts for four-year terms at the same time as United States Presidential elections.
The South Carolina Constitution of 1895 provided for each county to elect one senator for a four-year term. The election of senators was staggered so that half of the state Senate was elected every two years. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1964 for the case Reynolds v. Sims, the state Senate was reapportioned in 1966 as a temporary measure into 27 districts with 50 members for two-year terms. In 1967, the state Senate was again reapportioned, this time into 20 districts with 46 members for four-year terms. The number of districts was reduced to 16 in 1972 and in 1984, they were eliminated with the creation of single member districts. There are currently, however, only 45 members and one vacancy following the shooting death of Senator Clementa C. Pinckney in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015. 
The annual session of the General Assembly convenes at the State Capitol Building in Columbia on the second Tuesday of January of each year. However, after convening, either the House or the Senate may call for itself a 30-day recess by a majority vote, or a longer recess by a two-thirds vote.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous legislature||27||19||46||0|
|Beginning of 2013-14 Legislature||28||18||46||0|
|May 31, 2013||17||45||1|
|October 7, 2013||18||46||0|
|June 18, 2014||17||45||1|
|End of previous legislature||18||46||0|
|Beginning of 2015-16 Legislature||28||18||46||0|
|June 17, 2015||17||45||1|
|Latest voting share||62%||38%|
|South Carolina Senate Officers|
|Lieutenant Governor / President of the Senate||Henry McMaster||Republican|
|President Pro Tempore||Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr.||Republican|
|Majority Leader||Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.||Republican|
|Minority Leader||Nikki G. Setzler||Democratic|
Members of the South Carolina Senate
Except as noted, all Senators were elected in November 2012. All terms expire in November 2016.
Past Make-up of the Senate
(a) The election of a Democrat from Abbeville was declared void and the seat remained vacant.
(b) All 7 were members of the Conservative Party of South Carolina.
(c) After the 2000 elections, the Senate was evenly split between 23 Democrats and 23 Republicans. A Democrat, J. Verne Smith of Greer, switched to the Republicans to break the tie.
(d) Republicans gained an additional seat in a 2007 special election.
- "ARTICLE 3. Legislative Department., SECTION 9. Sessions of General Assembly.". 2010 South Carolina Constitution - Unannotated. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Democrat Robert Ford (District 42) resigned. 
- Democrat Marlon Kimpson replaces Robert Ford after a special election. 
- Democrat J. Yancey McGill ascends from President Pro Tem to become Lieutenant Governor. 
- Democrat Rep. Ronnie Sabb took McGill's seat.
- Democrat Clementa C. Pinckney (District 45) murdered. 
- Dubin, Michael J. (2007) Party affiliations in the state legislatures : a year by year summary, 1796-2006.
- South Carolina State House Online
- South Carolina Legislative Information Tracking System allows users to track legislative information via custom reports, tracking lists or subscription services. Services are provided via web search or Palm Pilot.
- The South Carolina Senate Democratic Caucus
- The South Carolina Senate Republican Caucus
- Project Vote Smart – State Senate of South Carolina