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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

California State Senate
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Upper House
President of the Senate Vacant
since November 5, 2009
President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg, (D)
since November 30, 2008
Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth, (R)
since February 18, 2009
Members 40
California State Senate 2009-2010.svg
Political groups      Democratic Party     Republican Party
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
California Senate chamber p1080899.jpg
Senate Chamber
California State Capitol
Sacramento, CA, US

The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the state capital, Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote. The officers of the Senate, elected at the start of each legislative session, are the President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Secretary of the Senate Gregory Schmidt, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard.

Prior to 1968, state senate districts were restricted such that one county could only hold at most one seat. This led to the situation of Los Angeles County, with 6 million residents as of 1968, receiving 600 times less representation than residents of Alpine County and Calaveras County, some of California's least populous counties. The federal Reynolds v. Sims decision by the United States Supreme Court compelled all states to draw up districts with equal populations. As such, boundaries were changed to provide more equitable representation.[1]

Senators are limited to serving two four-year terms, which are staggered so that half the membership is elected every two years. The Senators representing the odd-numbered districts are elected in years evenly divisible by four. The senators from the even-numbered districts are elected in the intervening even-numbered years.[2]

Each senator represents approximately 846,791 Californians, which is more than the approximately 639,088 residents in each of California's congressional districts.




Current composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 25 15 40 0
Begin[3] 24 15 39 1
June 8, 2009[4] 25 40 0
November 30, 2009[5] 14 39 1
Latest voting share 64.1% 35.9%

Seating chart

* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
Walters Ashburn * Denham * Florez Ducheny * Padilla Negrete McLeod * Oropeza Cedillo * Calderon Yee
Huff Cogdill * Aanestad Strickland * Maldonado Wright * Kehoe Simitian * Correa Romero * Liu Hancock
Runner Wyland * Cox Harman * Dutton Hollingsworth * Corbett Price * Lowenthal Pavley * Alquist Wiggins
* * * * * * Leno Steinberg * DeSaulnier Wolk * * * * * *

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Cal. Const. Art. IV. §2(a)
  3. ^ Democrat Mark Ridley-Thomas (District 26) resigned December 1, 2008 after being sworn into the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  4. ^ Democrat Curren Price sworn in to succeed Ridley-Thomas
  5. ^ Republican John J. Benoit (District 37) resigned to become a member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors

External links

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