Senate of Virginia

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Senate of Virginia
Virginia General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
TypeUpper House
Term limitsNone
History
New session startedJanuary 11, 2012
Leadership
Lieutenant GovernorRalph Northam, (D)
Since January 11, 2014
President pro TemporeWalter Stosch, (R)
Since January 12, 2012
Majority LeaderTommy Norment, (R)
Since January 12, 2012
Minority LeaderRichard L. Saslaw, (D)
Since January 12, 2012
Structure
Seats40
Political groups     Democratic Party (19)
     Republican Party (20)
Length of term4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Virginia Constitution
Salary$18,000/year + per diem
Elections
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
(40 seats)
Next electionNovember 3, 2015
(40 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Virginia Senate in Session.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Virginia State Capitol
Richmond, Virginia
Website
Senate of Virginia
 
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Coordinates: 37°32′20.3″N 77°26′1.7″W / 37.538972°N 77.433806°W / 37.538972; -77.433806

Senate of Virginia
Virginia General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
TypeUpper House
Term limitsNone
History
New session startedJanuary 11, 2012
Leadership
Lieutenant GovernorRalph Northam, (D)
Since January 11, 2014
President pro TemporeWalter Stosch, (R)
Since January 12, 2012
Majority LeaderTommy Norment, (R)
Since January 12, 2012
Minority LeaderRichard L. Saslaw, (D)
Since January 12, 2012
Structure
Seats40
Political groups     Democratic Party (19)
     Republican Party (20)
Length of term4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Virginia Constitution
Salary$18,000/year + per diem
Elections
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
(40 seats)
Next electionNovember 3, 2015
(40 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Virginia Senate in Session.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Virginia State Capitol
Richmond, Virginia
Website
Senate of Virginia

The Senate of Virginia is the upper house of the Virginia General Assembly. The Senate is composed of 40 Senators representing an equal number of single-member constituent districts. The Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Prior to the American War of Independence, the upper house of the General Assembly was represented by the Virginia Governor's Council, consisting of up to 12 executive counselors appointed by the Colonial Royal Governor as advisers and jurists.

The Lieutenant Governor presides daily over the Virginia Senate. In the Lieutenant Governor's absence, a president pro tempore presides, usually a powerful member of the majority party. The Senate is equal with the House of Delegates, the lower chamber of the legislature, except that taxation bills must originate in the House, similar to the federal U.S. Congress.

Members of the Virginia Senate are elected every four years by the voters of the 40 senatorial districts on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November. The last election took place in November 2011. There are no term limits for Senators.

In the 2007 Virginia state elections, the Democratic Party reclaimed the majority in the Senate for the first time since 1995, when the Republican Party gained a 20-20 split. The Republicans took control of the Senate for the first time in history after a January 1998 special election. The 2011 elections resulted in a 20-20 split between the parties, but as the tie breaker was Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, the Republicans effectively regained control.[1] Following the 2013 State Elections, Democratic State Senator Ralph Northam won the Lt. Governor's race.[2] If Democrat Lynwood Lewis wins the upcoming recount for the special election to fill Northam's seat, the Democrats will control the Senate.

Historic Partisan Makeup of the Senate of Virginia

Salary and qualifications[edit]

The annual salary for senators is $18,000 per year.[3] To qualify for office, senators must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the election, residents of the district they represent, and qualified to vote for General Assembly legislators.[3] The regular session of the General Assembly is 60 days long during even numbered years and 30 days long during odd numbered years, unless extended by a two-thirds vote of both houses.[3]

Composition[edit]

AffiliationParty
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
DemocraticRepublicanVacant
End of Previous Session (2008-2012)2218400
Begin2020400
July 3, 2012[c 1]19391
September 17, 2012[c 2]20400
August 5, 2013[c 3]19391
August 16, 2013[c 4]20400
January 11, 2014[c 5]18382
January 24, 2014[c 6]19391
Latest voting share48.7%51.3%
  1. ^ Democrat Yvonne B. Miller (District 5) died.
  2. ^ Democrat Kenny Alexander replaced Miller after September 4 special election.
  3. ^ Republican Harry Blevins (District 14) resigned. Although in theory Democrats had a brief numerical majority, the Senate was not in session. Additionally, rules adopted at the beginning of the 2012 session required a two-thirds supermajority vote to reorganize the Senate mid-session.
  4. ^ Republican John Cosgrove replaced Blevins after August 6 special election.
  5. ^ Democrats Ralph Northam (District 6) and Mark Herring (District 33) resigned upon being inaugurated Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, respectively.
  6. ^ Democrat Jennifer Wexton replaced Herring after January 22 special election.

Leadership[edit]

Lieutenant GovernorRalph Northam
President Pro TemporeWalter Stosch
Majority LeaderTommy Norment
Minority LeaderDick Saslaw

Committee chairs and ranking members[edit]

The Senate of Virginia has 11 standing committees.[4]

CommitteeChairSenior Minority Member
Agriculture, Conservation and Natural ResourcesEmmett HangerPhillip Puckett
Commerce and LaborJohn WatkinsCharles Colgan
Courts of JusticeTommy NormentRichard Saslaw
Education and HealthStephen H. MartinRichard Saslaw
FinanceWalter StoschCharles Colgan
General Laws and TechnologyFrank RuffCharles Colgan
Local GovernmentRalph K. SmithHenry L. Marsh
Privileges and ElectionsMark ObenshainJanet Howell
Rehabilitation and Social ServicesFrank WagnerVacant
RulesRyan McDougleCharles Colgan
TransportationSteve NewmanVacant

Members[edit]

DistrictNamePartyAreas RepresentedFirst Election
CountiesCities
1John MillerDemocraticJames City (part), York (part)Hampton (part), Newport News (part), Suffolk (part), Williamsburg2007
2Mamie LockeYork (part)Hampton (part), Newport News (part), Portsmouth (part), Suffolk (part)2003
3Tommy NormentRepublicanGloucester, Isle of Wight (part), James City (part), King William, King and Queen, New Kent, Surry (part), York (part)Hampton (part), Poquoson, Suffolk (part)1991
4Ryan McDougleCaroline, Essex, Hanover (part), King George (part), Lancaster, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania (part), Westmoreland (part)2006
5Kenny AlexanderDemocraticChesapeake (part), Norfolk (part)2012
6VacantAccomack, Mathews, NorthamptonNorfolk (part), Virginia Beach (part)
7Frank WagnerRepublican2001
8Jeff McWatersVirginia Beach (part)2010
9A. Donald McEachinDemocraticCharles City, Hanover (part), Henrico (part)Richmond (part)2007
10John WatkinsRepublicanChesterfield (part), Powhatan1997
11Stephen H. MartinChesterfield (part), AmeliaColonial Heights1993
12Walter StoschHanover (part), Henrico (part)1991
13Richard BlackLoudoun (part), Prince William (part)2011
14John CosgroveIsle of Wight (part), Southampton (part)Chesapeake (part), Franklin (part), Portsmouth (part) Suffolk (part), Virginia Beach (part)2013
15Frank RuffBrunswick (part), Campbell (part), Charlotte, Dinwiddie (part), Halifax (part), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania (part), Prince George (part)Danville (part)2000
16Henry L. MarshDemocraticChesterfield (part), Dinwiddie (part), Prince George (part)Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond (part)1991
17Bryce ReevesRepublicanAlbemarle (part), Culpeper (part), Louisa (part), Orange, Spotsylvania (part)Fredericksburg2011
18Louise LucasDemocraticBrunswick (part), Greensville, Isle of Wight (part), Southampton (part), Surry (part), SussexChesapeake (part), Emporia, Franklin (part), Portsmouth (part), Suffolk (part)1991
19Ralph K. SmithRepublicanBedford (part), Carroll (part), Floyd, Franklin (part), Montgomery (part), Roanoke (part), Wythe (part)Salem2011
20Bill StanleyCarroll (part), Franklin (part), Halifax (part), Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania (part),Danville (part), Galax, Martinsville2011
21John S. EdwardsDemocratGiles, Montgomery (part), Roanoke (part)Roanoke1995
22Thomas Garrett, Jr.RepublicanAmherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Louisa (part), Prince EdwardLynchburg (part)2011
23Steve NewmanBedford (part), Botetourt, Campbell (part), Craig, Roanoke (part)Lynchburg (part)1995
24Emmett HangerAugusta, Culpeper (part), Greene, Madison, Rockingham (part)Staunton, Waynesboro1995
25Creigh DeedsDemocraticAlbemarle (part), Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Nelson, RockbridgeBuena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington, Lexington2001
26Mark ObenshainRepublicanPage, Rappahannock, Rockingham (part), Shenandoah, WarrenHarrisonburg2003
27Jill Holtzman VogelClarke, Culpeper (part), Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun (part), Stafford (part)Winchester2007
28Richard StuartKing George (part), Prince William (part), Spotsylvania (part), Stafford (part), Westmoreland (part)2007
29Chuck ColganDemocraticPrince William (part)Manassas, Manassas Park1975
30Adam EbbinArlington (part), Fairfax (part)Alexandria (part)2011
31Barbara FavolaArlington (part), Fairfax (part), Loudoun (part)2011
32Janet HowellArlington (part), Fairfax (part)1991
33Jennifer WextonFairfax (part), Loudoun (part)2014
34Chap PetersenFairfax (part)Fairfax2007
35Richard L. SaslawAlexandria (part), Falls Church1980
36Toddy PullerFairfax (part), Prince William (part), Stafford (part)2000
37Dave MarsdenFairfax (part)2010
38Phillip PuckettBland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Montgomery (part), Pulaski, Russell, Smyth (part), Tazewell, Wise (part)Norton, Radford1998
39George BarkerFairfax (part), Prince William (part)Alexandria (part)2007
40Charles William Carrico, Sr.RepublicanGrayson, Lee, Scott, Smyth (part), Washington, Wise (part), Wythe (part)Bristol2011

Senate seal[edit]

The Senate of Virginia has its own coat of arms designed and granted by the College of Arms in England.[5][6] The coat of arms also makes up the official seal of the Virginia Senate. It bears no resemblance to the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is the seal of the state as a whole.

The Coat of Arms of the London Company.

The coat of arms adopted January 22, 1981 was designed by the College of Arms and based on the coat of arms used by the London Company, the royally-chartered English entrepreneurs who funded the European settlement of Virginia. This is not to be confused with the Seal of the London Company, for other than both devices displaying a quartered shield, there is little resemblance between them.

The Senate's arms have a shield in the center which is divided into four sections by a red cross. In each quarter are smaller shields representing the arms of four countries (England, France, Scotland, and Ireland.) that contributed settlers to Virginia's most early waves of European immigration.[5][6]

The four coats of arms, a small crest of a crowned female head with unbound hair representing Queen Elizabeth (the Virgin Queen who named Virginia,[7] and the dragon (part of the Elizabethan royal seal of England) represent Virginia's European heritage.[5][6]

An ivory gavel emblazoned on the vertical arm of the red cross represents the Senate as a law making body. The cardinal and dogwood depicted are Virginia's official state bird and tree. The ribbon contains the Latin motto of the Senate, Floreat Senatus Virginiae, which means "May the Senate of Virginia flourish."[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Julian (11/9/2011). "Virginia Republicans claim victory in state Senate". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  2. ^ http://www.northamforlg.com/about
  3. ^ a b c "Virginia State Legislature". VAKids.org. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Legislative Committees". Legislative Information System. Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  5. ^ a b c d Official Virginia State Senate "Capitol Classroom" site. Accessed November 7, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d Answers.Com: Virginia State Senate Seal Accessed November 7, 2007.
  7. ^ The Queen named Virginia in 1584 by modifying a Native American regional "king" named "Wingina". Stewart, George (1945). Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States. New York: Random House. p. 22. 

External links[edit]