California State Senate Article

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CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE Latitude and Longitude:

38°34′36″N 121°29′37″W / 38.57667°N 121.49361°W / 38.57667; -121.49361

California State Senate
California State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
Elected before 2012:
2 terms (8 years)
Elected 2012 and after:
3 terms (12 years)
New session started
December 3, 2018
Gavin Newsom ( D)
Since January 10, 2011
Toni Atkins ( D)
Since March 21, 2018
Majority Leader
Bill Monning ( D)
Since December 17, 2014
Minority Leader
Patricia Bates ( R)
Since April 12, 2017
Composition of the California State Senate
Political groups
   Democratic (29)


   Republican (11)
Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle 4, California Constitution
Salary$110,459/year + per diem
Last election
November 6, 2018 (20 seats)
Redistricting California Citizens Redistricting Commission
Senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri
("It is a senator's duty to protect the liberty of the people.")
Meeting place
California Senate chamber p1080899.jpg
State Senate Chamber
California State Capitol
Sacramento, California

The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of California, the lower house being the California State Assembly. Due to the state's large population and relatively small legislature, it has the largest population per State Senator ratio of any state legislative house. In the United States House of Representatives, California is apportioned 53 U.S. Representatives, each representing approximately 704,566 people, [1] while in the California State Senate, each of the 40 State Senators represents approximately 931,349 people, [2] with the result that California State Senators each represent more voters than California's U.S. Representatives do. Each member represents a population roughly equivalent to the State of Delaware. As a result of Proposition 140 in 1990 and Proposition 28 in 2012, members elected to the legislature prior to 2012 are restricted by term limits to two four-year terms (eight years), while those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years in the legislature in any combination of four-year state senate or two-year state assembly terms. [3]

The State Senate convenes at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. In the current session, Democrats control 29 seats, a supermajority of the chamber. Republicans control 11 seats.


Prior to 1967, state legislative districts were drawn according to the "Little Federal Model" by which Assembly seats were drawn to according to population and Senate seats were drawn according to county lines. The guidelines were that no Senate district would include more than three counties and none would include less than one complete county. This led to the situation of a populous county such as Los Angeles County (1960 population of 6 million) being accorded the same number of state senators (one) as less populous counties such as Alpine County (1960 pop. 397). In Reynolds v. Sims, the United States Supreme Court compelled all states to draw up districts with equal population. As such, boundaries were changed to comply with the ruling.


The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote. The President pro tempore is elected by the majority party caucus, followed by confirmation of the full senate. Other leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses according to each party's strength in the chamber.

The current president pro tem is Democrat Toni Atkins ( 39thSan Diego). The minority leader is Republican Patricia Bates ( 36thLaguna Niguel).

Meeting chamber

The red tones of the California State Senate Chamber are based on the British House of Lords, which is outfitted in a similar color. The dais rests along a wall shaped like an "E", with its central projection housing the rostrum. The Lower tier dais runs across the entire chamber, there are several chairs and computers used by the senate officers, the most prominent seat is reserved for the secretary who calls the roll. The higher tier is smaller, with three chairs, the two largest and most ornate chairs are used by the President Pro Tempore (right chair) and the Lieutenant Governor (left chair). The third and smallest chair, placed in the center, is used by the presiding officer (acting in place of the Pro Tem) and is rarely sat in as the president is expected to stand. There are four other chairs flanking the dais used by the highest non-member officials attending the senate, a foreign dignitary or state officer for example. Each of the 40 senators is provided a desk, microphone and two chairs, one for the senator, another for guests or legislative aides. Almost every decorating element is identical to the Assembly Chamber. Along the cornice appears a portrait of George Washington and the Latin quotation: senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri ("It is a senator's duty to protect the liberty of the people").


Composition of the California State Senate
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party
29 11
Democratic Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 26 14 40 0
Begin 29 11 40 0
Latest voting share 73% 28%


Position Name Party District
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom Democratic
President pro tempore Toni Atkins Democratic 39th–San Diego
Majority leader Bill Monning Democratic 17th–Carmel
Minority leader Patricia Bates Republican 36th–Laguna Niguel
Secretary Erika Contreras
Sergeant-at-Arms Jodie O. Barnett III
Chaplain Sister Michelle Gorman, RSM

The Secretary, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Chaplain are not members of the Legislature.


District Name Party Residence First elected Term limited Notes
1 Ted Gaines Republican El Dorado Hills 2011dagger 2020
2 Mike McGuire Democratic Healdsburg 2014 2026
3 Bill Dodd Democratic Napa 2016 2024
4 Jim Nielsen Republican Gerber 2013dagger 2022 Previously served from 1978 to 1990
5 Cathleen Galgiani Democratic Stockton 2012 2020
6 Richard Pan Democratic Sacramento 2014 2022
7 Steve Glazer Democratic Orinda 2015dagger 2028
8 Andreas Borgeas Republican Fresno 2018 2030
9 Nancy Skinner Democratic Berkeley 2016 2024
10 Bob Wieckowski Democratic Fremont 2014 2022
11 Scott Wiener Democratic San Francisco 2016 2028
12 Anna Caballero Democratic Salinas 2018 2026
13 Jerry Hill Democratic San Mateo 2012 2020
14 Melissa Hurtado Democratic Sanger 2018 2030
15 Jim Beall Democratic San Jose 2012 2020
16 Shannon Grove Republican Bakersfield 2018 2026
17 Bill Monning Democratic Carmel 2012 2020 Majority Leader
18 Robert Hertzberg Democratic Van Nuys 2014 2022 Previously served as Speaker of the State Assembly
19 Hannah-Beth Jackson Democratic Santa Barbara 2012 2020
20 Connie Leyva Democratic Chino 2014 2026
21 Scott Wilk Republican Santa Clarita 2016 2024
22 Susan Rubio Democratic Baldwin Park 2018 2030
23 Mike Morrell Republican Rancho Cucamonga 2014dagger 2020
24 Maria Elena Durazo Democratic Los Angeles 2018 2030
25 Anthony Portantino Democratic La Cañada Flintridge 2016 2024
26 Ben Allen Democratic Santa Monica 2014 2026
27 Henry Stern Democratic Canoga Park 2016 2028
28 Jeff Stone Republican Temecula 2014 2026
29 Ling Ling Chang Republican Diamond Bar 2018double-dagger 2024
30 Holly Mitchell Democratic Los Angeles 2013dagger 2022
31 Richard Roth Democratic Riverside 2012 2024
32 Bob Archuleta Democratic Pico Rivera 2018 2030
33 Ricardo Lara Democratic Bell Gardens 2012 2020
34 Tom Umberg Republican Santa Ana 2018 2026
35 Steven Bradford Democratic Gardena 2016 2024
36 Patricia Bates Republican Laguna Niguel 2014 2022 Minority Leader
37 John Moorlach Republican Costa Mesa 2015dagger 2028
38 Brian Jones Republican Santee 2018 2026
39 Toni Atkins Democratic San Diego 2016 2024 President pro tempore. Previously served as Speaker of the State Assembly
40 Ben Hueso Democratic San Diego 2013dagger 2022
  • dagger: elected in a special election
  • double-dagger: elected in a recall election

Seating chart

Wilk Jones Moorlach Umberg Hueso Rubio Roth Galgiani Hertzberg Wieckowski Pan McGuire
Morrell Stone Grove Bates Bradford Hill Hurtado Lara Allen Wiener Leyva Portantino
Borgeas Chang Gaines Archuleta Caballero Nielsen Jackson Mitchell Glazer Skinner Stern Beall
Durazo Atkins Monning Dodd

Past composition of the Senate


Current committees include: [4]


  • Senate Committee on Agriculture
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Fiscal Oversight and Bonded Indebtedness
  • Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions
  • Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government
    • Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections
  • Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development
  • Senate Committee on Education
    • Senate Education Subcommittee on Sustainable School Facilities
  • Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments
  • Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications
  • Senate Committee on Environmental Quality
  • Senate Committee on Governmental Organizations
  • Senate Committee on Governance and Finance
  • Senate Committee on Health
  • Senate Committee on Human Services
  • Senate Committee on Insurance
  • Senate Committee on Judiciary
  • Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics
  • Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water
    • Senate Natural Resources and Water Subcommittee on Urban Rivers
  • Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement
  • Senate Committee on Public Safety
  • Senate Committee on Rules
  • Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing
  • Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs


  • Joint Committee on Arts
  • Joint Committee on Fairs, Allocation and Classification
  • Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Joint Committee on Legislative Audit
  • Joint Committee on Rules
  • Joint Legislative Budget
  • Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management


  • Senate Office of Research
  • Senate Office of Demographics
  • Senate Office of Floor Analysis
  • Senate Office of International Relations
  • Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes

See also


  1. ^ "Apportionment Data". United States Census Bureau.
  2. ^ "Senate Roster". State of California.
  3. ^ "Article 4. Legislative". Constitution of California. California Legislative Counsel. Archived from the original on 1997-01-10. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "California Senate Committees". Open States. Sunlight Foundation. 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-04-09.

External links