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

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 Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). The Majority Leader is Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and the Minority Leader is Len Fasano (R-North Haven).

Current leadership

Position Senator District
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman N/A
President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney 11
Co-President Pro Tempore Len Fasano 34
Majority Leader Bob Duff 25
Co-Majority Leader Toni Boucher 26

Make-up of the Senate

The current makeup of the Connecticut Senate is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans at 18 seats for each caucus. However, Democrats hold the working majority in the Senate, with Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman casting the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

18 18
Democratic Republican
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 20 15 35 1
End of previous legislature 21 36 0
Begin[2] 17 17 34 2
February 28, 2017[3] 18 18 36 0
Latest voting share 50%[4] 50%

Members of the Senate

Current members of the Connecticut Senate, as of February 28, 2017.

District Name[5] Party Hometown First elected Towns represented Occupation
1 John Fonfara Dem Hartford 1996 Hartford (part), Wethersfield (part) Marketing Consultant
2 Douglas McCrory Dem Bloomfield 2017↑ Bloomfield (part), Hartford (part), Windsor (part)
3 Tim Larson Dem East Hartford 2014 East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington (part), South Windsor Insurance Executive
4 Steve Cassano Dem Manchester 2010 Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester Daycare Owner
5 Beth Bye Dem West Hartford 2010 Bloomfield (part), Burlington, Farmington (part), West Hartford Educator
6 Theresa "Terry" Gerratana Dem New Britain 2011 Berlin, Farmington (part), New Britain Teacher
7 John A. Kissel Rep Enfield 1992 East Granby, Enfield, Granby (part), Somers, Suffield, Windsor (part), Windsor Locks Corporate Attorney
8 Kevin Witkos Rep Canton 2008 Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby (part), Hartland, Harwinton (part), New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington (part) Utility Executive
9 Paul R. Doyle Dem Wethersfield 2006 Cromwell, Middletown (part), Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield (part) Attorney
10 Gary Holder-Winfield Dem New Haven 2014 New Haven (part), West Haven (part) Photographer, Business Owner
11 Martin M. Looney Dem New Haven 1993 Hamden (part), New Haven (part), North Haven (part) Attorney
12 Ted Kennedy, Jr. Dem Guilford 2014 Branford, Durham (part), Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford Attorney
13 Len Suzio Rep Meriden 2016 Cheshire (part), Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown (part)
14 Gayle Slossberg Dem Milford 2004 Milford, Orange, West Haven (part), Woodbridge (part) Retired Attorney
15 Joan V. Hartley Dem Waterbury 2000 Middlebury (part), Naugatuck (part), Waterbury (part) Teacher
16 Joe Markley Rep Southington 2010 Cheshire (part), Prospect, Southington, Waterbury (part), Wolcott Teacher
17 George Logan Rep Ansonia 2016 Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden (part), Naugatuck (part), Woodbridge (part)
18 Heather Somers Rep Groton 2016 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 Corrections officer
First Selectman
20 Paul Formica Rep East Lyme 2014 Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, Waterford
21 Kevin C. Kelly Rep Stratford 2010 Monroe (part), Seymour (part), Shelton, Stratford (part)
22 Marilyn Moore Dem Bridgeport 2014 Bridgeport (part), Monroe (part), Trumbull
23 Ed Gomes Dem[6] Bridgeport 2015↑
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 Realtor
26 Toni Boucher Rep Wilton 2008 Bethel (part), New Canaan (part), Redding, Ridgefield, Weston (part), Westport (part), Wilton Teacher
27 Carlo Leone Dem Stamford 2011 Darien (part), Stamford (part) Financial Analyst
28 Tony Hwang Rep Fairfield 2014 Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston (part), Westport (part)
29 Mae Flexer Dem Danielson 2014 Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson, Windham
30 Craig Miner Rep Litchfield 2016 Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington (part), Warren, Winchester
31 Henri Martin Rep Bristol 2014 Bristol, Harwinton (part), Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston Real Estate Business Owner
32 Eric Berthel Rep Watertown 2017↑ Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury (part), Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour (part), Southbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury Strategic Outreach
33 Art Linares Rep Westbrook 2012 Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Portland, Westbrook Entrepreneur
34 Len Fasano Rep North Haven 2002 Durham (part), East Haven, North Haven (part), Wallingford Attorney
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 was first elected in a special election.

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  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. ^ Democrat Eric D. Coleman (District 2) and Republican Rob Kane (District 32) resigned prior to the legislative session. [1]
  3. ^ Democrat Douglas McCrory and Republican Eric C. Berthel elected to succeed Coleman and Kane, respectively.
  4. ^ A power-sharing agreement was reached dividing control of the chamber, splitting the committees 50–50 and giving power to the Republicans to call procedural votes to bring legislation to the chamber floor, while Lt. Gov. Wyman retains the ability to break tied votes. [2]
  5. ^ "Senate Members (listed alphabetically)". Connecticut General Assembly. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ Though Sen. Gomes was elected on the Working Families Party line, he remains a registered Democrat.

External links