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Rhode Island Senate
Type Upper House
President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, (D)
since 2004
Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere, (R)
Members 38
Political groups 33 Democratic Party
4 Republican Party
1 Independent
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Rhode Island State Capitol, Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island Senate

The Rhode Island Senate is the upper house of the Rhode Island General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. State of Rhode Island. It is composed of 38 Senators, each of whom is elected to a two-year term. Rhode Island is one of the 14 states where its upper house serves at a two-year cycle, rather than the normal four-year term as in the majority of states. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve. The Rhode Island Senate meet at the Rhode Island State Capitol in Providence.

Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to executive departments, commissions, boards, or justices to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.


Senate leadership

The President of the Senate presides over the body, appointing members to all of the Senate's committees and joint committees, and may create other committees and subcommittees if desired. Unlike other states, the Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island does not preside over the Senate, and is instead active in other areas such as state commissions on health and businesses. In the Senate President's absence, the President Pro Tempore presides.

The current President of the Senate is Democrat M. Teresa Paiva Weed of District 13 (Newport, Jamestown,). The current Senate Majority Leader is Daniel P. Connors of District 19 (Cumberland, Lincoln).The Senate Minority Leader is Dennis L. Algiere of District 38 (Westerly, Charlestown).


Leadership positions

Committee leadership

  • Daniel DaPonte (D) - Committee on Finance
  • Paul W. Fogarty (D) - Committee on Labor
  • Christopher B. Maselli (D) - Committee on Rules
  • Maryellen Goodwin (D) - Committee on Constitutional & Regulatory Issues
  • Hanna M. Gallo (D) - Committee on Education
  • J. Michael Lenihan (D) - Committee on Government Oversight
  • Michael J. McCaffrey (D) - Committee on the Judiciary
  • Rhoda E. Perry (D) - Committee on Health & Human Services
  • V. Susan Sosnowski (D) - Committee on the Environment & Agriculture
  • John J. Tassoni, Jr. (D) - Committee on Housing & Municipal Government
  • Joshua Miller (D) - Committee on Corporations

Make-up of the Senate

2009-2010 Legislative Session
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Independent Vacant
End of previous legislature 33 5 0 38 0
Begin 33 4 1 38 0
Latest voting share 86.8% 10.5% 2.6%

Other senators

  • David E. Bates (R)
  • Leo R. Blais (R)
  • Frank A. Ciccone III (D)
  • Marc A. Cote (D)
  • Elizabeth A. Crowley (D)
  • Frank A. DeVall, Jr. (D)
  • Louis P. DiPalma (D)
  • James E. Doyle II (D)
  • Walter S. Felag, Jr. (D)
  • Hanna M. Gallo (D)
  • Paul V. Jabour (D)
  • Beatrice A. Lanzi (D)
  • Charles J. Levesque (D)
  • Erin P. Lynch (D)
  • Francis T. Maher, Jr. (R)
  • Harold M. Metts (D)
  • Edward J. O'Neill (I)
  • Roger Picard (D)
  • Juan M. Pichardo (D)
  • Michael J. Pinga (D)
  • Leonidas P. Raptakis (D)
  • James C. Sheehan (D)
  • William A. Walaska (D)

See also

External links


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