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The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the
Connecticut General Assembly The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) is the State legislature (United States), state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member Connecticut House of Representatives, House of Representatives ...
, the
state legislature A state legislature is a Legislature, legislative branch or body of a State (country subdivision), political subdivision in a Federalism, federal system. Two federations literally use the term "state legislature": * The legislative branches of e ...
of the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
of
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
. 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 A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate Mandate most often refers to: * League of Nations ...
. 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 United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the ...
, 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 The Connecticut State House of Representatives is the lower house in the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature (United States), state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The house is composed of 151 members representing an ...
and the State Senate vote on the composition to the
Connecticut Supreme Court 238px, Supreme Court Building The Connecticut Supreme Court, formerly known as the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors, is the highest court in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known a ...
. The Senate meets within the
State Capitol This is a list of state and territorial capitols in the United States, the building or complex of buildings from which the government of each U.S. state, the District of Columbia and the organized territories of the United States, exercise its au ...

State Capitol
in
Hartford Hartford is the List of capitals in the United States, capital city of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County, Connecticut, Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. It is the core city i ...
.


History

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 Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United Stat ...
(the predecessors of the House of Representatives). The
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut The Fundamental Orders were adopted by the Connecticut Colony council on January 14, 1639 O.S. (January 24, 1639 N.S.). The fundamental orders describe the government set up by the Connecticut River towns, setting its structure and powers. They ...
, 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.''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. In 1814–15, the
Hartford Convention The Hartford Convention was a series of meetings from December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815, in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, in which the New England Federalist Party met to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and t ...
met in the Connecticut Senate chamber of what is now the Old State House.


Leadership of the Senate

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 A majority, also called a simple majority to distinguish it from similar terms (see the "Related terms" section below), is the greater part, or more than half, of the total.See dictionary definitions of "majority" aMerriam-Webster
and minority leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses. The President of the Senate is
Susan Bysiewicz Susan Bysiewicz ( ; born September 29, 1961) is an American politician who is the 109th lieutenant governor of Connecticut, serving since January 9, 2019. She previously served as the 72nd secretary of the state of Connecticut from 1999 to 2011. ...

Susan Bysiewicz
of the
Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Democ ...
. The President pro tempore is
Democrat Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy, or democratic government; a form of government involving rule by the people. *A member of a Democratic Party: **Democratic Party (United States) (D) **Democratic Party (Cy ...
Martin M. Looney (D-
New Haven New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York City metropolitan area. With a population ...
). The
Majority Leader In U.S. politics (as well as in some other countries utilizing the presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) lead ...
is Bob Duff (D- Norwalk) and the
Minority Leader In politics of the United States, U.S. politics (as well as in some other countries utilizing the presidential system), the minority leader is the floor leader of the second largest caucus in a legislature, legislative body. Given the two-p ...
is Kevin C. Kelly (R- Stratford).


Current leadership


Make-up of the Senate

As of February 2019, the makeup of the Connecticut Senate consisted of 22 seats for Democrats and 14 seats for Republicans. In the 2020 elections, Democrats picked up Districts 6 and 17, giving them 24 seats to the Republicans' 12 seats. In a special election on August 17, 2021, Republicans won an open seat in the 36th district that was previously held by a Democrat giving them 13 seats to the Democrats' 23 seats.


Members of the Senate

Current members of the Connecticut Senate, . :


Past composition of the Senate


See also

*
Connecticut State Capitol The Connecticut State Capitol is located north of Capitol Avenue and south of Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut, Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. The building houses the Connecticut General Assembly; the upper house, the Connecticut Senat ...

Connecticut State Capitol
*
Connecticut General Assembly The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) is the State legislature (United States), state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member Connecticut House of Representatives, House of Representatives ...
*
Connecticut House of Representatives The Connecticut State House of Representatives is the lower house in the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature (United States), state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The house is composed of 151 members representing an ...
* Historic Members of the Connecticut Senate


References


External links


Connecticut State SenateConnecticut Senate Districts MapState Senate of Connecticut
at
Project Vote Smart Vote Smart, formerly called Project Vote Smart, is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that collects and distributes information on candidates for public office in the United States. It covers candidates and elected officials in six ...
* {{Authority control Organizations established in 1698
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
State upper houses in the United States 1698 establishments in Connecticut Government agencies established in the 1690s