- Indiana Senate
The Indiana Senate is the
upper houseof the Indiana General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. stateof Indiana. The Senate is composed of 50 members representing 50 distinct districts. Senators serve four-year terms without term limits.
The Senate convenes at the
Indiana State Housein Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Indiana State Senate is operated according to a set of internal regulations developed and maintained largely by tradition. These rules are similar to the rules that govern the upper house most of the state senates in the
United States. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/legislative/session/senate1.pdf| title= Senate Operating Rules|pages=|publisher=IN.gov|author=Indiana General Assembly|accessdate=2008-06-18] The Senate convenes its annual session the first Tuesday following the first Monday of January every year. In odd numbered years the senate must meet for 61 days (not necessarily consecutive days), and must adjourn no later than April 30. This is typically called a long session. In even numbered years, when elections are held, the Senate must meet for 30 days (not necessarily consecutive days) and adjourn no later than March 15. This is typically called the short session. The only time the senate may convene outside of these dates is if the Governor calls a special assembly. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/legislative/session/senate1.pdf|title=Senate Operating Rules|publisher=IN.gov|accessdate=2008-06-01]
The senate must convene by 1:30 pm each day a session is scheduled. Two thirds of the senators must be present for the session to begin. Senators must be present at each session unless they are explicitly excused by the president-pro-tempore. Members who are not present can be forced to attend the session or be censured and expelled from the body. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/legislative/session/senate1.pdf|title=Senate Operating Rules|publisher=IN.gov|accessdate=2008-06-01]
Lieutenant Governor of Indianaserves as the president of the senate and is responsible for ensuring that the senate rules are followed by its members. The President takes no part in the senate debates and may only vote to break ties. The senate also elects a president-pro-tempore a majority leader. This is typically a senior member of majority party. The president-pro-tempore presides over the senate whenever the President is not present. The president-pro-tempore is largly responsible for setting the agenda of the senate. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/legislative/session/senate1.pdf|title=Senate Operating Rules|publisher=IN.gov|accessdate=2008-06-01]
When debate occurs in the senate each senator is granted permission to speak on the issue once. A senator may not speak on an issue more than once without a permission from the rest of the senate which is attained with a senate vote. A senator can speak for no longer than a half hour at any one time and may be silenced with a majority vote and any time during his speech. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/legislative/session/senate1.pdf|title=Senate Operating Rules|publisher=IN.gov|accessdate=2008-06-01]
Article 4 of the
constitution of Indianaplaces several limitation on the size and composition of the senate.
*The senate can contain no more than fifty members.
*The term of a senator lasts four years with 25 senators being elected every two years.
*There is no limit to how many terms a senator may be elected to.
Article 4 of the Constitution of Indiana states the qualifications to become a senator.
*The candidate must have been a
United States Citizenfor a minimum of two years prior to his candidacy.
*The candidate must have been resident of the district which he seeks to represent for one year.
*The candidate must be at least 25 years of age when he is sworn into office.
*The candidate cannot hold any other public office in the state or federal government during a senate term.
Composition of the Senate
The Senate has various committees that are charged with overseeing different areas of the state government and drafting legislation. These committees are bipartisan and contain between three and eleven members split between the parties according to their ratio of members in the Senate. The committees and chaired by a member of the majority party. [cite web|url=http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?request=getCommitteeList|title=Standing Committees|publisher=IN.gov|accessdate=2008-06-01] The current committees include:
* Agriculture and Small Business
* Appointments and Claims
* Civil Matters Subcommittee
* Commerce, Public Policy & Interstate Cooperation
* Corrections and Criminal Subcommittee
* Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters
* Courts and Juvenile Justice Subcommittee
* Economic Development Subcommittee
* Economic Development and Technology
* Education and Career Development
* Elections & Redistricting Subcommittee
* Energy and Environmental Affairs
* Financial Institutions Subcommittee
* Health and Provider Services
* Homeland Security, Transportation & Veterans Affairs
* Insurance Subcommittee
* Insurance and Financial Institutions
* Joint Rules
* Local Government Subcommittee
* Local Government and Elections
* Natural Resources
* Pensions and Labor
* Probate Code and Trusts Subcommittee
* Provider Services Subcommittee
* Public Health Subcommittee
* Public Safety Subcommittee
* Rules and Legislative Procedure
* Tax and Fiscal Policy
* Technology Subcommittee
* Transportation Subcommittee
* Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
Indiana House of Representatives
Government of Indiana
* [http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.html Indiana General Assembly]
* [http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/homepages/ Indiana Senate Democrats]
* [http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_republicans/ Indiana Senate Republicans]
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/official_state_legislator.php?type=office&criteria=upper&state_id=IN Project Vote Smart - State Senate of Indiana]
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