Vermont Senate

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Vermont State Senate
Vermont General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 5, 2015
Leadership
Lieutenant Governor
Phil Scott (R)
Since January 6, 2011
John Campbell (D)
Since January 5, 2011
Majority Leader
Phil Baruth (D)
Since January 1, 2013
Minority Leader
Joe Benning (R)
Since January 1, 2015
Progressive Leader
Anthony Pollina (P)
Since January 6, 2010
Structure
Seats 30
Senate diagram 2014 State of Vermont.svg
Political groups

Majority

Minority

Length of term
2 years
Authority Section 7, Legislative Department, Vermont Constitution
Salary $30,528/year+ per diem
Elections
Last election
November 4, 2014
(30 seats)
Next election
November 1, 2016
(30 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber,
Vermont State Capitol
Montpelier, Vermont, U.S.
Website
Vermont State Senate

The Vermont Senate is the upper house of the Vermont General Assembly, the state legislature 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 state senate of Vermont 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 the state capital of 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 in the majority of states.

Composition of the senate (2015-2016 legislative session)[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Progressive Republican Vacant Suspended
End of previous legislature 20 2 8 30 0 0
Begin 2013 19 3 7 29 1 0
End 2014 20 30 0
Begin 2015 18 3 9 30 0 0
January 6, 2016[2] 8 29 1
Latest voting share 72.4% 27.6%

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 Berlin
President Pro Tem of the Senate John Campbell Dem Quechee Windsor
Majority Leader Phil Baruth Dem Burlington Chittenden
Assistant Majority Leader Claire Ayer Dem Weybridge Addison
Minority Leader Joe Benning Rep St. Johnsbury Caledonia/Orange
Assistant Minority Leader Kevin Mullin Rep Rutland Town Rutland
Progressive Leader Anthony Pollina Prog Middlesex Washington

Current members of the senate[edit]

District Representative Party Residence First elected
Addison Claire Ayer Dem Weybridge 2002
Christopher A. Bray Dem New Haven 2012
Bennington Brian Campion Dem Bennington 2014
Richard Sears Dem North Bennington 1992
Caledonia Joe Benning Rep St. Johnsbury 2010
Jane Kitchel Dem Danville 2004
Chittenden Tim Ashe Dem/Prog Burlington 2008
Phil Baruth Dem Burlington 2010
Ginny Lyons Dem Williston 2000
Michael Sirotkin Dem South Burlington 2014†
Helen Riehle Rep South Burlington 2016†
David Zuckerman Dem/Prog Hinesburg 2012
Essex-Orleans John S. Rodgers Dem Glover 2012
Robert Starr Dem North Troy 2004
Alburgh-Franklin Norman H. McAllister (suspended[3]) Rep Highgate 2012
Dustin Degree Rep St. Albans City 2014
Colchester-Grand Isle Richard Mazza Dem Colchester 1984
Lamoille Rich Westman Rep Hyde Park 2010
Orange Mark MacDonald Dem Williamstown 2003
(previous term 1997-1999)
Rutland Brian Collamore Rep Rutland Town 2014
Peg Flory Rep Pittsford 2010
Kevin Mullin Rep Rutland Town 2003
Washington Ann Cummings Dem Montpelier 1996
William T. Doyle Rep Montpelier 1968
Anthony Pollina Dem/Prog Middlesex 2010
Windham Becca Balint Dem Brattleboro 2014
Jeanette White Dem Putney 2002
Windsor John F. Campbell Dem Quechee 2000
Richard McCormack Dem Bethel 2006
(previous terms from 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.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "REPORT OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPORTIONMENT BOARD: The 2001 Tentative Plan for the Vermont Senate" (PDF). Bluehouse Group. Retrieved April 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ Republican Norman H. McAllister (Alburgh-Franklin) suspended. [1]
  3. ^ Johnson, Mark (March 18, 2016). "Senate rejects request to reconsider suspension". Vermont Journalism Trust. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  4. ^ Remsen, Nancy & Hallenbeck, Teri (January 8, 2009). Following the Legislature. Burlington Free Press. 

External links[edit]