The Michigan Senate is the upper house of the Legislature of the U.S. State of Michigan. Along with the House of Representatives, it composes the Michigan Legislature. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted.[1] The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. The Michigan Senate is composed of 38 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of between approximately 212,400 to 263,500 residents.[2] Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. As of 2018, Republicans hold the majority in the State Senate with twenty-seven seats; Democrats hold the minority with eleven seats.The Senate Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.[2]


Members of the Senate are referred to as Senators. Because this shadows the terminology used to describe members of U.S. Senate, constituents and the news media, using The Associated Press Stylebook, often refer to State Senators as State Senators to avoid confusion with their Federal counterparts.


Senators are elected on a partisan basis for four-year terms, concurrent with the election of the Governor of Michigan. Terms for Senators begin on January 1 at Noon, following the November General Election and end on January 1 when their replacements are sworn in.[2]

Senate Elections are always held two years after the Election for President of the United States, with the next Election scheduled for November 6, 2018.

Term limits

On November 3, 1992, almost 59 percent of Michigan voters backed Proposal B, the Michigan Term Limits Amendment, which amended the State Constitution, to enact term limits on federal and state officials. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits, but ruled that the state-level term limits remain. Under the amendment, a person could be elected to the office of State Senate two times. A provision governing partial terms was also included. These provisions became Article IV, section 54 and Article V, section 30 of the Michigan Constitution.[3]


Each Senator must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age, and an elector of the district he represents. Under state law, moving out of the district shall be deemed a vacation of the office. No person who has been convicted of subversion or who has within the preceding 20 years been convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be eligible for either house of the Legislature.

Legislative session

For reckoning periods of time during which the Legislature operates, each two-year period coinciding with the election of new members of the House of Representatives is numbered consecutively as a legislature, dating to the first legislature following Michigan's admission as a state. The current two-year term of the legislature (January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018) is the 99th Legislature.

Each year during which the Legislature meets constitutes a new legislative session. According to Article IV Section 13 of the State Constitution, a new session of the Legislature begins when the members of each house convene, on the second Wednesday of January every year at noon. A regular session of the Legislature typically lasts throughout the entire year with several periods of recess and adjourns sine die in late December.

The Michigan Legislature is one of ten full-time state legislative bodies in the United States.[4] Members receive a base salary of $71,685 per year, which makes them the fourth-highest paid legislators in the country, after California, Pennsylvania and New York. While legislators in many states receive per diems that make up for lower salaries, Michigan legislators receive $10,800 per year for session and interim expenses.[5] Salaries and expense allowances are determined by the State Officers Compensation Commission.

Any legislation pending in either house at the end of a session that is not the end of a legislative term of office continues and carries over to the next Legislative Session.

Powers and process

The Michigan Legislature is authorized by the Michigan Constitution to create and amend the laws of the U.S. state of Michigan, subject to the Governor's power to veto legislation. To do so, legislators propose legislation in the forms of bills drafted by a nonpartisan, professional staff. Successful legislation must undergo committee review, three readings on the floor of each house, with appropriate voting majorities, as required, and either be signed into law by the Governor or enacted through a veto override approved by two-thirds of the membership of each legislative house.[6]


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of Previous Legislature 26 12 38 0
Begin 2015 session 27 11 38 0
April 12, 2016[7] 10 37 1
November 8, 2016[8] 11 38 0
March 2, 2018[9] 10 37 1
Latest voting share 73% 27%


The Michigan Senate is headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, who serves as President of the Senate but may only cast a vote in the instance of a tie.[10] The presiding officers of the Senate, apart from the President, are elected by the body at its first Session and serve until their term of office is up.[11] Majority and Minority party officers are elected at the same time by their respective caucuses.[11]

The Senate Majority Leader controls the assignment of committees and leadership positions, along with control of the agenda in the chamber.

Members, 2016-2018

District Senator Party Residence Eligible for
re-election in 2018
1 Coleman Young II Dem Detroit No
2 Vacant
3 Morris Hood III Dem Detroit No
4 Ian Conyers Dem Detroit Yes
5 David Knezek Dem Dearborn Heights Yes
6 Hoon-Yung Hopgood Dem Taylor No
7 Patrick Colbeck Rep Canton Township No
8 Jack Brandenburg Rep Harrison Township No
9 Steven Bieda Dem Warren No
10 Tory Rocca Rep Sterling Heights No
11 Vincent Gregory Dem Southfield No
12 Jim Marleau Rep Lake Orion No
13 Marty Knollenberg Rep Troy Yes
14 David B. Robertson Rep Grand Blanc Township No
15 Mike Kowall Rep White Lake Township No
16 Mike Shirkey Rep Clarklake Yes
17 Dale Zorn Rep Ida Yes
18 Rebekah Warren Dem Ann Arbor No
19 Mike Nofs Rep Battle Creek No
20 Margaret O'Brien Rep Portage Yes
21 John Proos Rep St. Joseph No
22 Joe Hune Rep Hamburg Township No
23 Curtis Hertel Jr. Dem East Lansing Yes
24 Rick Jones Rep Grand Ledge No
25 Phil Pavlov Rep St. Clair Township No
26 Tonya Schuitmaker Rep Antwerp Township No
27 Jim Ananich Dem Flint Yes
28 Peter MacGregor Rep Rockford Yes
29 Dave Hildenbrand Rep Lowell No
30 Arlan Meekhof Rep West Olive No
31 Mike Green Rep Mayville No
32 Kenneth Horn Rep Frankenmuth Yes
33 Judy Emmons Rep Sheridan No
34 Goeff Hansen Rep Hart No
35 Darwin L. Booher Rep Evart No
36 Jim Stamas Rep Midland Yes
37 Wayne Schmidt Rep Traverse City Yes
38 Tom Casperson Rep Escanaba No

Past composition of the Senate

See also

External links


  1. ^ "State Constitution of Michigan Article IV Section I". Michigan Legislature. 
  2. ^ a b c "Senate Information". Michigan Senate. 
  3. ^ "Constitutional Amendments" (PDF). Michigan Legislature. 
  4. ^ http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/full-and-part-time-legislatures.aspx
  5. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures
  6. ^ "Citizens Guide". Michigan House of Representatives. 
  7. ^ Democrat Virgil Smith Jr. (District 4) resigned after pleading guilty to assault. [1]
  8. ^ Democrat Ian Conyers elected to succeed Smith. [2]
  9. ^ Democrat Bert Johnson (District 2) resigns. [3]
  10. ^ "Michigan State Constitution - Article V, Section 25". Michigan Legislature. 
  11. ^ a b "Senate Rules - Chapter 1, Section 1". Michigan Senate. Michigan State Senate. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  12. ^ "Senate Leadership". Michigan Senate.