Alabama Senate

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Alabama State Senate
Alabama State Legislature
Seal of Alabama.svg
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 9, 2018
Leadership
Will Ainsworth (R)
since January 14, 2019
Del Marsh (R)
since November 3, 2010
Majority Leader
Greg Reed (R)
since November 4, 2014
Minority Leader
Bobby Singleton(D)
since January 8, 2019
Structure
Seats35
Alabama State Senate (27 Republicans, 8 Democrats).svg
Political groups
Governing party
  •   Republican (27)

Opposition

Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Alabama Constitution
Salary$42,830/yr [1]
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
November 6, 2018
(35 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(35 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Alabama State Capitol
Montgomery, Alabama
Website
Alabama State Senate

The Alabama State Senate is the upper house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The body is composed of 35 members representing an equal number of districts across the state, with each district containing at least 127,140 citizens. Similar to the lower house, the Alabama House of Representatives, the Senate serves both without term limits and with a four-year term.

The Alabama State Senate meets at the State House in Montgomery.

Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the United States Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions and boards.

Assembly powers

While the House of Representatives has exclusive power to originate revenue bills, such legislation can be amended and/or substituted by the Senate. Moreover, because the Senate is considered to be the "deliberative body", rules concerning the length of the debate are more liberal than those of the House of Representatives.

Like the United States Senate, the Alabama Senate has the sole power of Confirmation of certain appointees designated by the Constitution and by statute. The legislative antecedent of this role is a similar power that was vested in the Roman Senate during the Roman Republic.

Membership guidelines

The Alabama Senate is composed of 35 state senators, in keeping with Article IV, Section 50, of the Alabama Constitution, which limits the Alabama House of Representatives to 105 members, and the Senate to 35; together with Article IX, Sections 197 and 198, which requires that membership in the state senate consist of not less than one-fourth, nor more than one-third, of the total membership of the state House of Representatives. Additional representation is authorized in the event of the creation of new counties. Thus, the Alabama Senate is precisely one-third the size of the House of Representatives, and each state senator represents a district of approximately 125,000 Alabamians.

Under Article IV, Section 47 of the Constitution, Senators must be at least 25 years of age at the time of their election, must be citizens and residents of the state of Alabama for at least 3 years, and reside within their district for at least one year prior to election.

Senators, like members of the House of Representatives, are elected for four-year terms and take office at midnight of the day of their election. Amendment 97 to the Constitution, provides that should a vacancy occur in either house of the Legislature, the governor is required to call a special election to fill the vacancy.

Composition

278
RepublicanDemocratic
AffiliationParty
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democratic Vacant
November 7, 2018278350
Latest voting share

Senate Leadership

PositionNamePartyDistrict
President Will Ainsworth Republican
President pro tempore Del Marsh Republican 35th–Grand Bay
Secretary of the SenateD. Patrick Harris

Majority leadership

PositionNamePartyDistrict
Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed Republican 5th–Jasper
Rules Chairman J. T. Waggoner Republican 16th–Vestavia Hills
Education Budget Chair Arthur Orr Republican 5th–Decatur
Finance & Taxation General Fund Chairman Greg Albritton Republican 22nd–Atmore

Minority leadership

PositionNamePartyDistrict
Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton Democratic 24th–Greensboro
Deputy Minority Leader Billy Beasley Democratic 28th–Clayton
Minority Caucus Chair Linda Coleman-Madison Democratic 20th–Birmingham

List of State Senators

DistrictSenatorPolitical PartyHometownFirst electedCounties represented
1 Tim Melson Republican Florence 2014 Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison
2 Tom Butler Republican Madison 2018Limestone, Madison
3 Arthur Orr Republican Decatur 2006Limestone, Madison, Morgan
4 Garlan Gudger Republican Cullman 2018 Cullman, Lawrence, Marion, Winston
5 Greg Reed Republican Jasper 2010 Fayette, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Winston
6 Larry Stutts Republican Tuscumbia 2014 Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion
7 Sam Givhan Republican Gurley 2018Madison
8 Steve Livingston Republican Scottsboro 2014 DeKalb, Jackson, Madison
9 Clay Scofield Republican Arab 2010 Blount, DeKalb, Madison, Marshall
10 Andrew Jones Republican Centre 2018 Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, St. Clair
11 Jim McClendon Republican Springville 2014 Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega
12 Del Marsh Republican Anniston 1998 Calhoun, Talladega
13 Randy Price Republican Opelika 2018 Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Lee, Randolph
14 Cam Ward Republican Alabaster 2010 Bibb, Chilton, Shelby
15 Dan Roberts Republican Birmingham 2018Jefferson, Shelby, Talladega
16 J. T. Waggoner RepublicanBirmingham1990Jefferson, Shelby
17 Shay Shelnutt Republican Trussville 2014 Blount, Jefferson, St. Clair
18 Rodger Smitherman DemocraticBirmingham1994Jefferson
19 Priscilla Dunn Democratic Bessemer 2009Jefferson
20 Linda Coleman-Madison DemocraticBirmingham2006Jefferson
21 Gerald Allen Republican Tuscaloosa 2010 Lamar, Pickens, Tuscaloosa
22 Greg Albritton Republican Range 2014 Baldwin, Clarke, Escambia, Monroe, Washington
23 Malika Sanders-Fortier Democratic Selma 2018 Butler, Conecuh, Dallas, Lowndes, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Wilcox
24 Bobby Singleton Democratic Greensboro 2005Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa
25 Will Barfoot Republican Montgomery 2018 Crenshaw, Elmore, Montgomery
26 David Burkette DemocraticMontgomery2018Montgomery
27 Tom Whatley Republican Auburn 2010Lee, Russell, Tallapoosa
28 Billy Beasley Democratic Clayton 2010 Barbour, Bullock, Henry, Houston, Macon, Russell
29 Donnie Chesteen Republican Geneva 2018 Dale, Geneva, Houston
30 Clyde Chambliss Republican Prattville 2014 Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Elmore, Tallapoosa
31 Jimmy Holley Republican Elba 1998 Coffee, Covington, Dale, Pike
32 Chris Elliott Republican Spanish Fort 2018 Baldwin
33 Vivian Davis Figures Democratic Mobile 1997 Mobile
34 Jack W. Williams Republican Wilmer 2018Mobile
35 David Sessions Republican Grand Bay 2018Mobile

Past composition of the Senate

Throughout most of the state's history, the Democratic Party controlled the Alabama State Senate from the time of admission to the Union in 1819 with a few brief exceptions. The Whig Party had a majority in the State Senate in 1837 and again from 1850 to 1851. Following the Civil War and the state's readmission to the Union, the chamber had a Republican majority during the Reconstruction period from 1868 to 1874. This was followed by 136 consecutive years of Democratic majorities. Beginning with the 2010 election Republicans captured a substantial majority in the chamber and have held it in the two elections since in 2014 and 2018.

The first African-American to serve in the Alabama Senate was Benjamin F. Royal, a Republican from Bullock County, who served from 1868 to 1875. [2] The election of 1983 produced the first female senators in Alabama history as Republican Ann Bedsole (1983-1995) and Democrat Frances "Sister" Strong (1983-1986) won office.

Leadership of the Senate

The Lieutenant Governor of Alabama 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 full Senate by nominations taken from the floor, followed by a recorded vote. The President Pro Tempore is the chief leadership position in the Senate. The other Senate Majority and Minority leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses.

The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor, which is currently Will Ainsworth. The President Pro Tempore is Del Marsh. The Majority Leader is Republican Greg Reed and the Minority Leader is Democrat Bobby Singleton.

Committees

Current committees include: [3]

  • Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
  • Banking and Insurance
  • Business and Labor
  • Children, Youth Affairs, and Human Resources
  • Commerce, Transportation, and Utilities
  • Confirmations
  • Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections
  • Economic Expansion and Trade
  • Education
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Finance and Taxation Education
  • Finance and Taxation General Fund
  • Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability
  • Governmental Affairs
  • Health
  • Industrial Development and Recruitment
  • Judiciary
  • Local Legislation No. 1
  • Local Legislation No. 2
  • Local Legislation No. 3
  • Rules
  • Small Business and Economic Development
  • Tourism and Marketing
  • Veterans and Military Affairs

Senate seal

The Senate Seal features an open book and torch, accompanied by the Latin phrase Libertas Per Lege, meaning "Liberty Through Law". The official Seal of the Senate was adopted by Senate Resolution, August 19, 1965, and was created by a special committee consisting of then Senators John Tyson (Mobile), Vaughan Hill Robison (Montgomery), Bill Nichols (Talladega), Lieutenant Governor Jim Allen and Secretary of the Senate McDowell Lee.

See also

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References

  1. http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/legismgt/2016_Leg_Comp_Session_Per%20Diem_Mileage.pdf
  2. Bailey, Neither Carpetbaggers nor Scalawags (1991)
  3. "Alabama Senate Committees". Open States. Sunlight Foundation. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.