Mississippi State Senate

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Mississippi Senate
Mississippi State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 5, 2021
Leadership
President
Delbert Hosemann (R)
since January 5, 2021
President pro Tempore
Dean Kirby (R)
since January 7, 2020
Minority Leader
Derrick Simmons (D)
since July 31, 2017
Structure
Seats52
MS Senate Mississippi Nov 2019.svg
Political groups
  •   Republican (36)
  •   Democratic (16)
Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Mississippi Constitution
Salary$10,000/year + per diem
Elections
Last election
November 5, 2019
(52 seats)
Next election
November 7, 2023
(52 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Mississippi State Capitol
Jackson, Mississippi
Website
Mississippi State Legislature

The Mississippi Senate is the upper house of the Mississippi Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Mississippi. The Senate, along with the lower Mississippi House of Representatives, convenes at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson.

The Senate is composed of 52 senators representing an equal number of constituent districts, with 57,063 people per district (2010 figures). In the current legislative session, the Republican Party holds 36 seats while the Democratic Party holds 16 seats, creating a Republican trifecta in the state government.

Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions and boards and can create and amend bills.

Membership, terms and elections[edit]

According to the current Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Senate is to be composed of no more than 52 members elected for four-year terms with no term limits. To qualify for election, candidates must be at least 25 years old, a qualified elector and resident in the state for the past four years, and be a resident of the district or county they are running to represent for the past two years. Elections to the Senate are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November during the state general elections. If a vacancy occurs in the Senate before June 1, the governor must order an election within 30 days after the vacancy and give a 40 day notice to the appropriate counties where the seat is located.[1] No special election occurs if the vacancy happens after June 1.[1]

Powers and process[edit]

The state legislature is constitutionally-mandated to meet for 125 days every four years and 90 days in other years. The Senate reconvenes on a yearly basis on the Tuesday after the first Monday in January.

The Senate has the authority to determine rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and expel a member with a two-thirds vote of its membership.[2] Bills must undergo three readings in each house, unless two-thirds of the house dispenses with the rules.[2] Amendments to bills must be approved by both houses.[2] The Senate, in conjunction with the Mississippi House of Representatives, draws and approves both congressional and district boundaries. The congressional boundaries can be vetoed by the governor, while the district boundaries, created by a joint resolution between both houses, cannot be vetoed by the governor.[3]

The governor has the power to veto legislation, but legislators can override the veto with a two-thirds decision.[2]

Leadership[edit]

The Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a legislative vote if required to break a tie. In his or her absence, the President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate. The President Pro Tempore is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the entire Senate through a Senate Resolution. Unlike other upper houses in state legislatures, the President Pro Tempore's power is limited. The Lieutenant Governor has the sole ability to appoint the chairmanships or vice chairmanships of various Senate committees, regardless of party size. The other Senate majority and minority leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses.

The President of the Senate is Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann. The President pro tempore is Republican Dean Kirby.[4]

Composition (2020–2024)[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature (2019) 18 31 49 3
Begin 16 36 52 0
Latest voting share 30.8% 69.2%

Although the Democratic party retained their majority (27D to 25R) in the state Senate after the 2003 general election, a party switch by former Democratic Senator, James Shannon Walley of Leakesville threw control of the chamber to the Republicans. Walley was elected as a Democrat in 2003 to represent District 43, which includes George, Greene, Stone, and Wayne counties, then announced he was switching parties and won re-election as a Republican. Because the Lieutenant Governor at that time, Amy Tuck, was a Republican (and also a previous party switcher), this gave Republicans control of the Senate for the first time since Reconstruction and a de facto majority only on a tie vote.

Until January 2008, the Senate contained 25 Democrats and 27 Republicans. Democrats enjoyed a net gain of three seats in the November 6, 2007 statewide elections and won back control of the chamber by a 28–24 margin until Senator Nolan Mettetal announced his party switch in February, 2008. The Senate balance was 27–25, with the Democrats holding the slim majority until Cindy Hyde-Smith switched parties, giving the GOP a 26–26 de facto majority, with Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant holding the tiebreaker vote. After the switch of Ezell Lee on February 17, 2011, the GOP expanded their majority to 27–24, with one vacancy. The majority was expanded in the general election later that year to 31–21, including the party switch of Sen. Gray Tollison.

Members of the Mississippi Senate (2020–2024)[edit]

District Name Party Residence First Elected Counties Represented Notes
1 Michael McLendon Rep Hernando 2020 Desoto
2 David Parker Rep Olive Branch 2013 Desoto
3 Kathy Chism Rep New Albany 2020 Benton, Pontotoc, Union
4 Rita Potts Parks Rep Corinth 2012 Alcorn, Tippah
5 Daniel Sparks Rep Belmont 2020 Itawamba, Prentiss, Tishomingo
6 Chad McMahan Rep Guntown 2016 Itawamba, Lee
7 Hob Bryan Dem Amory 1984 Itawamba, Lee, Monroe
8 Benjamin Suber Rep Bruce 2020 Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lee, Pontotoc, Yalobusha
9 Nicole Akins Boyd Rep Oxford 2020 Lafayette, Panola
10 Neil Whaley Rep Potts Camp 2018 Marshall, Tate
11 Robert L. Jackson Dem Marks 2004 Coahoma, Panola, Quitman Tunica
12 Derrick Simmons Dem Greenville 2011 Bolivar, Coahoma, Washington
13 Sarita Simmons Dem Cleveland 2020 Bolivar, Sunflower, Tallahatchie
14 Lydia Chassaniol Rep Winona 2007 Attala, Carroll, Grenada, Leflore, Montgomery, Panola, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha
15 Bart Williams Rep French Camp 2020 Choctaw, Montgomery, Oktibbeha, Webster
16 Angela Turner-Ford Dem West Point 2013 Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha
17 Charles Younger Rep Columbus 2014 Lowndes, Monroe
18 Jenifer Branning Rep Philadelphia 2016 Leake, Neshoba, Winston
19 Kevin Blackwell Rep Southaven 2016 DeSoto, Marshall
20 Josh Harkins Rep Flowood 2012 Rankin
21 Barbara Blackmon Dem Canton 2016 Attala, Holmes, Leake, Madison, Yazoo Also served from 1992-2003
22 Joseph C. Thomas Dem Yazoo City 2020 Sunflower, Humphreys, Madison, Sharkey, Washington, Yazoo Also served from 2004-2008
23 Briggs Hopson Rep Vicksburg 2008 Issaquena, Warren, Yazoo
24 David Lee Jordan Dem Greenwood 1993 Grenada, Holmes, Humphreys, Leflore, Tallahatchie
25 J. Walter Michel Rep Ridgeland 2016 Hinds, Madison Also served from 1999-2011
26 John Horhn Dem Jackson 1993 Hinds, Madison
27 Hillman Terome Frazier Dem Jackson 1993 Hinds
28 Sollie Norwood Dem Jackson 2013 Hinds
29 David Blount Dem Jackson 2008 Hinds
30 Dean Kirby Rep Pearl 1992 Rankin
31 Tyler McCaughn Rep Newton 2020 Lauderdale, Newton, Scott
32 Sampson Jackson Dem Preston 1992 Kemper, Lauderdale, Noxubee, Winston
33 Jeff Tate Rep Meridian 2020 Clarke, Lauderdale
34 Juan Barnett Dem Heidelberg 2020 Forrest, Jasper, Jones
35 Chris Caughman Rep Mendenhall 2016 Copiah, Rankin, Simpson
36 Albert Butler Dem Port Gibson 2010 Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Jefferson
37 Melanie Sojourner Rep Natchez 2020 Adams, Amite, Franklin, Pike Also served from 2012-2015
38 Tammy Witherspoon Dem Magnolia 2016 Adams, Amite, Pike, Walthall, Wilkinson
39 Jason Barrett Rep Brookhaven 2020 Copiah, Lawrence, Lincoln, Walthall
40 Angela Burks Hill Rep Picayune 2012 Marion, Pearl River
41 Joey Fillingane Rep Sumrall 2007 Covington, Forrest, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Smith
42 Chris McDaniel Rep Ellisville 2008 Forrest, Jones
43 Dennis DeBar Rep Leakesville 2016 George, Greene, Wayne
44 John A. Polk Rep Hattiesburg 2012 Lamar, Pearl River
45 Chris Johnson Rep Hattiesburg 2020 Forrest, Perry
46 Philip Moran Rep Kiln 2012 Hancock, Harrison
47 Mike Seymour Rep Vancleave 2016 Jackson, Pearl River, Stone
48 Mike Thompson Rep Long Beach 2020 Harrison
49 Joel Carter Rep Gulfport 2018 Harrison
50 Scott DeLano Rep Biloxi 2020 Harrison
51 Jeremy England Rep Vancleave 2020 Jackson
52 Brice Wiggins Rep Pascagoula 2012 Jackson

Past composition of the Senate[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2013 Mississippi Code Title 23 - ELECTIONS Chapter 15". Justia Law. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Constitutional Provisions The Legislature And Legislation Rules of Procedure, Mississippi Legislature (accessed May 31, 2013)
  3. ^ "Mississippi - All About Redistricting". All About Redistricting. Loyola Law School. June 18, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  4. ^ "Dean Kirby elected Senate president pro tempore". WJTV. Jackson. January 7, 2020. Retrieved January 18, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°18′14″N 90°10′56″W / 32.30389°N 90.18222°W / 32.30389; -90.18222