Connecticut Senate

Connecticut Senate
Connecticut State Senate
Coat of arms or logo
Type Upper house
Term limits None
New session started January 5, 2011
President of the Senate Nancy Wyman, (D)
since January 5, 2011
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Donald E. Williams, Jr., (D)
since July 1, 2005
Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, (D)
since January 8, 2003
Minority Leader John P. McKinney, (R)
since June 14, 2007
Members 36
Political groups Democratic Party (22)
Republican Party (14)
Length of term 2 years
Authority Article III, Section 1, Connecticut Constitution
Salary $28,000/year
Last election November 2, 2010
(36 seats)
Next election November 6, 2012
(36 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
Connecticut State Capitol, Hartford.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Connecticut State Capitol
Hartford, Connecticut
Official Senate Page

The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The state senate comprises 36 members, each representing a district with around 94,600 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 presides over the Senate. 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 Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Scotland). The Majority Leader is Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and the Minority Leader is John McKinney (R-Fairfield).

Current leadership

Position Senator District
  President/Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman N/A
  President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr. 29
  Majority Leader Martin M. Looney 11
  Minority Leader John P. McKinney 28

Make-up of the Senate

Republicans gained one seat in the Connecticut Senate in the November 2010 midterm elections, ending the Democratic Party's supermajority in the chamber. Three Democratic senators resigned their seats prior to taking office: two to serve in Governor Dan Malloy's administration and one facing legal charges.[2] Special elections were held on February 22, 2011 to fill these vacancies.[2]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 24 12 36 0
Begin 20 13 36 3
February 25, 2011[3] 22 14 36 0
Latest voting share * 61.1% 39.9%

Members of the Senate

Current members of the Connecticut Senate, as of March 1, 2011 (2011 -03-01).

District Name[4] Party Hometown First elected Towns represented
1 John Fonfara Dem Hartford 1996 Hartford (part), Wethersfield (part)
2 Eric D. Coleman Dem Bloomfield 1994 Bloomfield (part), Hartford (part), Windsor (part)
3 Gary LeBeau Dem East Hartford 1996 East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington (part), South Windsor
4 Steve Cassano Dem Manchester 2010 Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester, Marlborough
5 Beth Bye Dem West Hartford 2010 Bloomfield (part), Burlington, Farmington (part), West Hartford
6 Theresa Gerratana Dem New Britain 2011 Berlin, Farmington (part), New Britain
7 John A. Kissel Rep Enfield 1992 East Granby, Enfield, Granby (part), Somers, Suffield, Windsor (part), Windsor Locks
8 Kevin Witkos Rep Simsbury 2008 Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby (part), Hartland, Harwinton (part), New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington (part)
9 Paul R. Doyle Dem Wethersfield 2006 Cromwell, Middletown (part), Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield (part)
10 Toni N. Harp Dem New Haven 1992 New Haven (part), West Haven (part)
11 Martin M. Looney Dem New Haven 1993 Hamden (part), New Haven (part)
12 Edward Meyer Dem Guilford 2004 Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford
13 Leonard F. Suzio Rep Meriden 2011 Cheshire (part), Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown (part)
14 Gayle Slossberg Dem Milford 2004 Milford, Orange, West Haven (part)
15 Joan V. Hartley Dem Waterbury 2000 Naugatuck (part), Prospect, Waterbury (part)
16 Joe Markley Rep Southington 2010 Cheshire (part), Southington, Waterbury (part), Wolcott
17 Joseph Crisco, Jr. Dem Woodbridge 1992 Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden (part), Naugatuck (part), Woodbridge
18 Andrew M. Maynard Dem Stonington 2006 Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown
19 Edith Prague Dem Columbia 1994 Andover, Bozrah, Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Montville (part), Norwich, Sprague
20 Andrea Stillman Dem Waterford 2004 East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, Waterford
21 Kevin Kelly Rep Stratford 2010 Monroe (part), Shelton, Seymour (part), Stratford (part)
22 Anthony Musto Dem Bridgeport 2008 Bridgeport (part), Monroe (part), Trumbull
23 Ed Gomes Dem Bridgeport 2005 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
26 Toni Boucher Rep Wilton 2008 Bethel (part), New Canaan (part), Redding, Ridgefield, Weston (part), Westport, Wilton
27 Carlo Leone Dem Stamford 2011 Darien (part), Stamford (part)
28 John P. McKinney Rep Southport 1998 Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston (part)
29 Donald E. Williams, Jr. Dem Brooklyn 1992 Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson, Windham
30 Andrew Roraback Rep Goshen 2000 Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington (part), Warren, Washington, Winchester
31 Jason Welch Rep 2010 Bristol, Harwinton (part), Plainville, Plymouth
32 Rob Kane Rep Watertown 2008 Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour (part), Southbury, Thomaston, Watertown, Woodbury
33 Eileen Daily Dem Westbrook 1992 Chester, Clinton, Colechester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Portland, Westbrook
34 Len Fasano Rep North Haven 2002 East Haven, North Haven, Wallingford
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)

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. ^ a b Shultz, Susan (February 24, 2011). "Most of state's special elections conflicted with school breaks". Retrieved February 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Democrats Theresa Gerratana and Carlo Leone, elected (Districts 6 and 27, respectively); Republican Leonard F. Suzio elected (District 13)
  4. ^ "Senate Members (listed alphabetically)". Connecticut General Assembly. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 

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