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 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.
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).
|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|
The current makeup of the Connecticut Senate is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans at 17 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.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous legislature||22||14||36||0|
|End of previous legislature|
|End of previous legislature||21||36||0|
|February 28, 2017||18||18||36||0|
|Latest voting share||50%||50%|
Current members of the Connecticut Senate, as of February 28, 2017[update].
|District||Name||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||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|
|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|
|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)|
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