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. 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.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|Start of 189th General Court||34||6||40||0|
|June 25, 2016||33||39||1|
|November 10, 2015||34||40||0|
|January 4, 2016||5||39||1|
|January 21, 2016||33||38||2|
|May 18, 2016||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%|
|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|
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 of the Senate, sorted by district name:
|Senator||Party||District||Home Town/City||Assumed office|
|Adam G. Hinds||Democratic||Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden||Pittsfield||2017|
|Paul Feeney||Democratic||Bristol and Norfolk||Foxborough||2017*|
|Michael Rodrigues||Democratic||1st Bristol and Plymouth||Westport||2011|
|Mark Montigny||Democratic||2nd Bristol and Plymouth||New Bedford||1993|
|Julian Cyr||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||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|
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.
Members of the Massachusetts Senate
|United States Congress|