Massachusetts Senate

The Massachusetts Senate is the upper house of the Massachusetts General Court, the bicameral state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Senate comprises 40 elected members from 40 single-member senatorial districts in the state. All but one of the districts are named for the counties in which they are located (the "Cape and Islands" district covers Dukes, Nantucket, and parts of Barnstable counties). Senators serve two-year terms, without term limits.[1] The Senate convenes in the Massachusetts State House, in Boston.

The current session is the 191st General Court, which convened January 2, 2019. It consists of 34 Democrats and 6 Republicans. The President of the Senate is Karen E. Spilka of Ashland. The Senate Minority Leader, from the Republican Party, is Bruce Tarr of Gloucester. The last state general election was on November 6, 2018.

Recent party control

Democrats hold a supermajority in the Senate.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Republican Vacant
Start of 189th General Court 34 6 40 0
June 25, 2016[2] 33 39 1
November 10, 2015[3] 34 40 0
January 4, 2016[4] 5 39 1
January 21, 2016[5] 33 38 2
May 18, 2016[6] 34 6 40 0
Start of 190th General Court 34 6 40 0
End of 190th General Court 31 7 38 2
Start of 191st General Court 34 6 40 0
Latest voting share 85% 15%

Current leadership

[7]

Position Leader Municipality Party
President of the Senate Karen E. Spilka Ashland Democratic
Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem Newton
President Pro Tempore William N. Brownsberger Belmont
Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler Worcester
Assistant Majority Leader Joan B. Lovely Salem
Michael J. Barrett Lexington
Sal N. DiDomenico Everett
Majority Whip Michael F. Rush West Roxbury
Assistant Majority Whip Julian Cyr Truro
Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael J. Rodrigues Westport
Senate Ways and Means Vice Chair Cindy F. Friedman Arlington
Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr Gloucester Republican
Assistant Minority Leader Donald F. Humason, Jr. Westfield
Ryan C. Fattman Sutton
Minority Whip Patrick M. O'Connor Weymouth
Assistant Minority Whip Dean A. Tran Leominster
Senate Ways & Means Ranking Member Viriato M. deMacedo Plymouth

Committees

The current standing committees of the Massachusetts Senate are as follows:

Committee Chair Vice Chair Ranking Minority
Bills in the Third Reading Sal N. DiDomenico Harriette L. Chandler Bruce Tarr
Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets Michael O. Moore Nick Collins Donald F. Humason, Jr.
Ethics Eric P. Lesser Cynthia Stone Creem Donald F. Humason, Jr.
Global Warming and Climate Change Marc R. Pacheco Michael J. Barrett Patrick O'Connor
Intergovernmental Affairs Michael F. Rush Sal N. DiDomenico Dean Tran
Personnel and Administration Cynthia Stone Creem Joan B. Lovely Patrick O'Connor
Post Audit and Oversight John F. Keenan Paul R. Feeney Ryan C. Fattman
Redistricting William N. Brownsberger Adam G. Hinds Bruce Tarr
Rules Joan B. Lovely Joseph A. Boncore Ryan C. Fattman
Steering, Policy and Scheduling Mark C. Montigny Michael J. Rodrigues Bruce Tarr
Ways and Means Michael J. Rodrigues Cindy F. Friedman Viriato M. deMacedo

Current members

Current members of the Senate, sorted by district name:

Senator Party District Home Town/City Assumed office
Adam G. Hinds[8]   Democratic Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Pittsfield 2017
Paul Feeney   Democratic Bristol and Norfolk Foxborough 2017*[9]
Michael Rodrigues   Democratic 1st Bristol and Plymouth Westport 2011
Mark Montigny   Democratic 2nd Bristol and Plymouth New Bedford 1993
Julian Cyr[10]   Democratic Cape and Islands Truro 2017
Diana DiZoglio   Democratic 1st Essex Methuen 2019
Joan Lovely   Democratic 2nd Essex Salem 2013
Brendan Crighton   Democratic 3rd Essex Lynn 2018*
Bruce Tarr   Republican 1st Essex and Middlesex Gloucester 1995
Barry Finegold   Democratic 2nd Essex and Middlesex Andover 2019
James T. Welch   Democratic Hampden West Springfield 2011
Eric Lesser   Democratic 1st Hampden and Hampshire Longmeadow 2015
Donald Humason, Jr.   Republican 2nd Hampden and Hampshire Westfield 2013*
Jo Comerford   Democratic Hampshire and Franklin and Worchester Northampton 2019
Edward Kennedy   Democratic 1st Middlesex Lowell 2019
Patricia D. Jehlen   Democratic 2nd Middlesex Somerville 2005*
Michael J. Barrett   Democratic 3rd Middlesex Lexington 2013
Cindy Friedman   Democratic 4th Middlesex Arlington 2017*
Jason Lewis   Democratic 5th Middlesex Winchester 2014*
Cynthia Stone Creem   Democratic 1st Middlesex and Norfolk Newton 1999
Karen Spilka   Democratic 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk Ashland 2005
Sal DiDomenico   Democratic Middlesex and Suffolk Everett 2010*
James B. Eldridge   Democratic Middlesex and Worcester Acton 2009
Rebecca L. Rausch   Democratic Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex Needham 2019
Walter Timilty[11]   Democratic Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth Milton 2017
John Keenan   Democratic Norfolk and Plymouth Quincy 2011
Michael F. Rush   Democratic Norfolk and Suffolk Boston 2011
Vinny deMacedo   Republican Plymouth and Barnstable Plymouth 2015
Marc Pacheco   Democratic 1st Plymouth and Bristol Taunton 1993
Michael Brady   Democratic 2nd Plymouth and Bristol Brockton 2015*
Patrick O'Connor   Republican Plymouth and Norfolk Weymouth 2016*
Nick Collins   Democratic 1st Suffolk Boston 2018*
Sonia Chang-Diaz   Democratic 2nd Suffolk Boston 2009
Joseph A. Boncore   Democratic 1st Suffolk and Middlesex Winthrop 2016*
Will Brownsberger   Democratic 2nd Suffolk and Middlesex Belmont 2012*
Harriette Chandler   Democratic 1st Worcester Worcester 2001
Michael O. Moore   Democratic 2nd Worcester Millbury 2009
Anne Gobi   Democratic Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex Spencer 2015
Dean Tran   Republican Worcester and Middlesex Fitchburg 2017*
Ryan Fattman   Republican Worcester and Norfolk Webster 2015
  • *Originally elected in a special election

Past composition of the Senate

107th MA-Senate composition
Composition by municipality in the 187th and 188th General Courts.
189th MA-Senate composition
Composition by municipality in the 189th General Court and at the opening of 190th General Court.
190th MA-Senate composition beginning December 5 2017
Composition by municipality in the 190th General Court beginning on December 5, 2017.
Massachusetts 191st General Court Senate Composition January 2019
Composition by municipality at the beginning of the 191st General Court.

See also

References

  1. ^ Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Article LXXXII.
  2. ^ Democrat Thomas P. Kennedy (2nd Plymouth and Bristol) died. [1]
  3. ^ Democrat Michael Brady sworn in to succeed Kennedy
  4. ^ Republican Robert L. Hedlund (Plymouth and Norfolk) resigned after being elected Mayor of Weymouth. [2]
  5. ^ Democrat Anthony Petruccelli (1st Suffolk and Middlesex) resigned after accepting a job in the private sector. [3]
  6. ^ Republican Patrick O' Connor and Democrat Joseph Boncore sworn in to succeed Hedlund and Petruccelli, respectively. [4]
  7. ^ https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Leadership/Senate
  8. ^ https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/AGH0
  9. ^ Daniel Libon (October 17, 2017). "Feeney Beats Ventura, Shortsleeve In State Senate Race". Patch.
  10. ^ https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/JAC0
  11. ^ https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Profile/WFT0

Further reading

External links

2004 Massachusetts Senate elections

Elections to the 185th Massachusetts Senate were held on November 2, 2004. The Democrats picked up one former Republican seat. The 185th Massachusetts General Court began on January, 2005, and consisted of 34 Democrats and 6 Republican State Senators.

The 2004 Massachusetts House election was held on the same date as the Senate election, as well as Federal and Congressional elections.

Massachusetts Senators serve two-year terms.

2006 Massachusetts Senate elections

As a result of the Massachusetts general election, 2006, the Democrats picked up one open seat in the Massachusetts State Senate, the only change from the previous session. The current session began in January, 2007, and consists of 35 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

The 2006 Massachusetts House election was held on the same date as the Senate election, as well as Federal and Gubernatorial elections (see Massachusetts general election, 2006).

Massachusetts Senators serve two-year terms.

2008 Massachusetts Senate elections

Elections to the 187th Massachusetts State Senate was held on November 4, 2008, the same date as the 2008 Massachusetts House election as well as Federal and Congressional elections. Massachusetts Senators serve two-year terms.

2010 Massachusetts Senate elections

In the elections to the Massachusetts State Senate in 2010, the Democrats continued their dominance, winning 36 seats against 4 seats for the Republicans.

Allen T. Treadway

Allen Towner Treadway (September 16, 1867 – February 16, 1947) was a Massachusetts Republican who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, as a member, and President of, the Massachusetts Senate and a member of the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1913, until January 3, 1945. Treadway represented Massachusetts's first congressional district for sixteen consecutive terms.

Treadway was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts to William Denton Treadway and Harriet (Heaton) Treadway. Treadway graduated from Amherst College in 1886. He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1904, and in the Massachusetts Senate from 1908 to 1911. He is buried in Stockbridge Cemetery, in his home town of Stockbridge.

Angier Goodwin

Angier Louis Goodwin (January 30, 1881 – June 20, 1975) was a United States Representative from Massachusetts.

He graduated from Colby College in 1902, and attended Harvard Law School three years later. He was admitted to the Maine bar that same year, the Massachusetts bar in the next, and practiced law in Boston.

He became a member of the Melrose, Massachusetts Board of Aldermen in 1912, and continued until 1914. He rejoined in 1916, and stayed for four more years. He served as president in 1920. He was the mayor of Melrose from 1921 to 1923. He became a member of the Massachusetts State Guard and legal adviser to aid draft registrants during the First World War. He was member of the Planning Board and chairman of the Board of Appeal in Melrose between 1923 and 1925. He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1925 to 1928.

He was a member of the Massachusetts Senate from 1929 to 1941, and served as President of the Massachusetts Senate in his last year. He was chairman of the Massachusetts Commission on Participation in New York World's Fair, in 1939 and 1940, and chairman of the Massachusetts Commission on Administration and Finance in 1942. He was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-eighth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1955).

He failed reelection in 1954. He was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Tax Appeals from 1955 to 1960.

Bruce Tarr

Bruce E. Tarr (born January 2, 1964) is the minority leader of the Massachusetts Senate. He has been a member since 1995, representing the 1st Essex and Middlesex District. He is a member of the United States Republican Party and a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In June 2009 fellow Republican state senator Scott Brown described the 5 member senate caucus as "led" by Senator Tarr.

The 1st Essex and Middlesex district includes Gloucester, Boxford, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester, Middleton, Newbury, North Andover, North Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Wenham, West Newbury, and Wilmington.

Tarr was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Suffolk University, for his undergraduate and J.D. studies. Prior to being elected to the Senate in 1994, he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1991–1995.

Daniel P. King

Daniel Putnam King (January 8, 1801 – July 25, 1850) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Donald W. Nicholson

Donald William Nicholson (August 11, 1888 – February 16, 1968) was a 20th-century American politician from the state of Massachusetts.

Born in Wareham, Massachusetts, Nicholson attended the public schools and took college extension courses. He first worked as a salesman, then during the First World War served overseas in the United States Army from 1917 to 1919.

Returning to Massachusetts, he entered politics and served as selectman, assessor, and overseer of the poor in Wareham from 1920 to 1925. He served as a delegate to all Republican state conventions from 1924 to 1947; served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1925 and 1926; as a member of the Massachusetts Senate from 1926 to 1947, and as president of the state senate in 1946 and 1947. He was elected as a Republican to the Eightieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Charles L. Gifford, and reelected to the five succeeding Congresses (November 18, 1947 – January 3, 1959).

Nicholson retired to his home in Wareham, remaining there until his death on February 16, 1968; he is buried in Center Cemetery.

In 1964 a bridge in Wareham was named after Nicholson.

George P. Lawrence

George Pelton Lawrence (May 19, 1859 – November 21, 1917) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts.

Karen Spilka

Karen E. Spilka is a Massachusetts State Senator of the Democratic Party. She represents the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts.

She was elected to be the 95th President of the Massachusetts Senate on July 26, 2018, and continues to hold that office. She also chairs the Biotech Legislative Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus. Senator Spilka’s legislative accomplishments include efforts in a broad range of areas including economic development, jobs creation, education, juvenile justice and services for the elderly and disabled communities.

Senator Spilka was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the fall of 2001, where she served three years before her election to the Massachusetts State Senate in January 2005. In the Senate she has served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, the Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and the Majority Whip. Prior to becoming a legislator, Senator Spilka was in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labor and employment law and community and court mediation. In addition, she has been a facilitator and fact finder in disputes in the public and private sectors, as well as a social worker and trainer of adult mediation and school-based peer mediation programs, collaborative-based collective bargaining and conflict resolution strategies.

Senator Spilka is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and holds a B.S. from Cornell University.

Nathaniel Silsbee

Nathaniel Silsbee (January 14, 1773 – July 14, 1850) was a ship master, merchant and American politician from Salem, Massachusetts.

President of the Massachusetts Senate

The President of the Massachusetts Senate is the presiding officer. In the United States Congress, the Vice President of the United States is the ex officio President of the United States Senate. In Massachusetts, however, the President of the Senate is elected from and by the Senators. The President, therefore, typically comes from the majority party, and the President is then the de facto leader of that party.

The most recent President of the Massachusetts Senate was Harriette Chandler, a Democrat who served as acting President following Stan Rosenberg's decision in December 2017 to temporarily step down from his post while the Senate conducted investigations into allegations of sexual assault made against his husband, Bryon Hefner. Chandler moved from acting President to President of the Senate in February 2018. She relinquished that post on 26 July 2018, and was succeeded by Karen Spilka. Democrats have had a majority in the Senate since 1959.

Samuel Dana

Samuel Dana (June 26, 1767 – November 20, 1835) was an American lawyer and politician who served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court, as President of the Massachusetts Senate and as a United States Representative from Massachusetts.

Samuel Lathrop

Samuel Lathrop (May 1, 1772 – July 11, 1846) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Will Brownsberger

William N. Brownsberger (born March 21, 1957) is an American state legislator and President Pro Tempore of the Massachusetts Senate representing the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District which includes his hometown of Belmont, as well as Watertown, and parts of Allston, Brighton, Fenway-Kenmore, and Back Bay which are neighborhoods of Boston. From 2007 to 2012 he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2013 special election to succeed Ed Markey in the U.S. House of Representatives.

William B. Calhoun

William Barron Calhoun (December 29, 1796 – November 8, 1865) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

William M. Butler

William Morgan Butler (January 29, 1861 – March 29, 1937) was a lawyer and legislator for the State of Massachusetts, and a United States Senator.

Zeno Scudder

Zeno Scudder (August 18, 1807 – June 26, 1857) was the son of Deacon Josiah and Hannah Scudder. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts. He was born in Osterville, Massachusetts on August 18, 1807. He wanted to follow the sea, but a paralysis of his right leg made that impossible. He studied medicine at Bowdoin College but his lameness hindered his practice so he decided to take up law at the Cambridge Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1856 and conducted a lucrative practice in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Scudder was a member of the Massachusetts Senate 1846–1848 and served as Senate President.

Scudder was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses. His special interest while in Congress was American Fisheries. He served from March 4, 1851, until his resignation on March 4, 1854, because of a broken leg suffered in a fall, the effects of which he never recovered.

Scudder died in Barnstable, Massachusetts on June 26, 1857 and was interred in Hillside Cemetery, Osterville.

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