California State Senate

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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 1, 2014
Gavin Newsom (D)
Since December 1, 2014
Kevin de León (D)
Since December 1, 2014
Majority Leader
Bill Monning (D)
Since December 17, 2014
Minority Leader
Jean Fuller (R)
Since August 27, 2015
Seats 40
Composition of the California State Senate
Political groups
  Democratic (26)
  Republican (14)
Length of term
4 years
Authority Article 4, California Constitution
Salary $95,291/year + per diem
Last election
November 6, 2014
Next election
November 8, 2016
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 legislative body consists of 40 members, with each member representing approximately 931,000 people. Due to the state's large population and relatively small legislature, the State Senate has the largest population per representative ratio of any state legislative house. In the United States House of Representatives, California is apportioned 53 representatives, each representing approximately 704,566 people,[1] while in the State Senate, each of the 40 Senators represents approximately 931,349 people,[2] with the result that California state senators each actually represent more voters than California's representatives to the United States Congress do. 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.


Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Prior to 1968, state senate districts were restricted such that one county could hold at most only one seat. This led to the situation of Los Angeles County, with 6 million residents in 1968, receiving 600 times less representation than residents of Alpine County and Calaveras County, some of California's least populous counties. 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 provide more equitable representation.


The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote. The President pro tem 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 Kevin de León (22ndLos Angeles). The minority leader is Republican Jean Fuller (16thBakersfield).

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. 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"). Almost every decorating element is identical to the Assembly Chamber.


Position Name Party District
  President of the Senate Gavin Newsom Democratic
  President pro tempore Kevin de León Democratic 24th–Los Angeles
  Majority leader Bill Monning Democratic 17th–Carmel
  Majority whip Lois Wolk Democratic 3rd–Davis
  Majority caucus chair Connie Leyva Democratic 20th–Chino
  Majority caucus vice chair Mike McGuire Democratic 2nd–Healdsburg
  Minority leader Jean Fuller Republican 16th–Bakersfield
  Minority caucus chair Tom Berryhill Republican 8th–Twain Harte
  Minority caucus whip Ted Gaines Republican 1st–Roseville
  Minority caucus assistant whip Patricia Bates Republican 36th–Laguna Niguel
Secretary Daniel Alvarez
Sergeant-at-Arms Debbie Manning
Chaplain Sister Michelle Gorman

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


Composition of the California State Senate
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party
26 14
Democratic Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant Suspended
End of previous legislature 25 12 37 1 2
Begin[4] 25 14 39 1 0
December 10, 2014[5] 26 40 0
January 2, 2015[6] 25 39 1
January 3, 2015[7] 13 38 2
January 5, 2015[8] 12 37 3
March 19, 2015[9] 13 38 2
March 22, 2015[10] 14 39 1
May 28, 2015[11] 26 40 0
Latest voting share 65% 35%

Seating chart

Runner Anderson Moorlach Galgiani Hueso Leno Roth Hernandez Hertzberg Wieckowski McGuire Wolk
Bates Nguyen Morrell Stone Cannella Hill Lara Pavley Leyva Mendoza Liu Hancock
Gaines Nielsen Berryhill Huff Vidak Fuller Jackson Mitchell Glazer Hall Allen Beall
Block de León Monning Pan


Current committees include:[12]


  • 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


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  4. Vacant since September 22, 2014 when Democrat Rod Wright (District 35) resigned to serve a jail sentence after conviction for perjury and voter fraud.
  5. Democrat Isadore Hall, III sworn in to succeed Wright.
  6. Democrat Mark DeSaulnier (District 7) resigned to take office in Congress.
  7. Republican Mimi Walters (District 37) resigned to take office in Congress.
  8. Republican Steve Knight (District 21) resigned to take office in Congress.
  9. Republican Sharon Runner sworn in to succeed Knight.
  10. Republican John Moorlach sworn in to succeed Walters.
  11. Democrat Steve Glazer sworn in to succeed DeSaulnier.
  12. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

External links