West Virginia Senate


West Virginia Senate

The West Virginia Senate is the upper house of the West Virginia Legislature.There are 17 senatorial districts. Each district has two senators who serve staggered four-year terms. The body is generally considered more conservative than the West Virginia House of Delegates. Democrats and Republicans are more evenly matched in the Senate.

The state's districting system is unique in the United States. The state's most populous county, Kanawha County constitutes two "superimposed" districts. In practical effect, this means that Kanawha County is a single district electing two members every two years. The remaining 54 counties of the state are divided into fifteen districts, with county lines not respected in most cases.cite web|url=http://www.legis.state.wv.us/districts/sd/sd.cfm|title=West Virginia Senate Districts|publisher=West Virginia Legislature|accessdate=2008-09-07] Under the unique rule, no district may have more than one senator from the same county [cite web|url=http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/WV_CON.cfm#articleVI|title=West Virginia Constitution|publisher=West Virginia Legislature|accessdate=2008-09-07] , no matter the population. This means, for example, that one of the 5th District's two senators must reside in Cabell County and the other must reside in the tiny portion of Wayne County that's inside the 5th District, even though Cabell County has more people than the portion of Wayne County that is part of the 5th District. However, both senators are elected by everybody within the district, not just by the people of the county in which the senators reside.

enate President

The Senate elects its own president from its membership. As of the 78th West Virginia Senate, Earl Ray Tomblin is Senate President.

While the West Virginia Constitution does not create or even mention the title of Lieutenant Governor, West Virginia Code 6A-1-4 creates this designation for the Senate President. The Senate President is first in the line of succession to the office of governor. As stated in the constitution: "In case of the death, conviction or impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation, or other disability of the governor, the president of the Senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled, or the disability removed." However, the Senate President may not always serve the remainder of the term as the constitution also states: "Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of governor before the first three years of the term shall have expired, a new election for governor shall take place to fill the vacancy."

Composition

"2007-2009:"

Committees

At the start each new Legislature, standing committees are appointed. The Senate President selects the chairpersons. The Rules of the Senate call for the following committees to be formed:
*Agriculture (11 members) - Larry J. Edgell, Chairman
*Banking and Insurance (14 members) - Joseph M. Minard, Chairman
*Confirmations (9 members) - Shirley Love, Chairman
*Economic Development (14 members) - Brooks McCabe, Chairman
*Education (14 members) - Robert H. Plymale, Chairman
*Energy, Industry and Mining (14 members) - William R. Sharpe, Jr., Chairman
*Finance (17 members) - Walt Helmick, Chairman
*Government Organization (14 members) - Edwin Bowman, Chairman
*Health and Human Resources (14 members) - Roman W. Prezioso, Jr., Chairman
*Interstate Cooperation (7 members) - Evan H. Jenkins, Chairman; (Senate President is ex-officio co-chairperson)
*Judiciary (17 members) - Jeffrey V. Kessler, Chairman
*Labor (11 members) - Michael Oliverio II, Chairman
*Military (9 members) - Jon Blair Hunter, Chairman
*Natural Resources (14 members) - John Pat Fanning, Chairman
*Pensions (7 members) - Dan Foster, Chairman
*Rules (11 members) - Earl Ray Tomblin, Ex-officio Chairman as Senate President
*Transportation and Infrastructure (9 members) - John Unger II, Chairman

References

ee also

*West Virginia House of Delegates
*List of members of the 77th West Virginia Senate

External links

* [http://www.legis.state.wv.us West Virginia Legislature] - official website
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/official_state_legislator.php?type=office&state_id=WV&criteria=upper Project Vote Smart - State Senate of West Virginia]


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