|California State Senate
|California State Legislature
|Seal of The Senate Of The State Of California.jpg
|California Senate chamber p1080899.jpg
|2 terms (8 years)
|December 6, 2010
|President of the Senate
|January 10, 2011
|President Pro Tem of the Senate
|November 30, 2008
|December 6, 2010
|October 11, 2010
|Article IV, California Constitution
|$95,291/year + per diem
|California State Senate 2011-2012.svg
| (25) (15)
|November 2, 2010
|November 6, 2012
|California Citizens Redistricting Commission
|State Senate Chamber
California State Capitol
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote. The officers of the Senate, elected at the start of each legislative session, are the President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Secretary of the Senate Gregory Schmidt, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard, Jr.
Prior to 1968, state senate districts were restricted such that one county could only hold at most one seat. This led to the situation of Los Angeles County, with 6 million residents as of 1968, receiving 600 times less representation than residents of Alpine County and Calaveras County, some of California's least populous counties. The federal Reynolds v. Sims decision by the United States Supreme Court compelled all states to draw up districts with equal populations. As such, boundaries were changed to provide more equitable representation.
Senators are limited to serving two four-year terms, which are staggered so that half the membership is elected every two years. The Senators representing the odd-numbered districts are elected in years evenly divisible by four. The senators from the even-numbered districts are elected in the intervening even-numbered years.
Each senator represents approximately 846,791 Californians, which is more than the approximately 639,088 residents in each of California's congressional districts.
The red tones of the California State Senate Chamber are based on the British House of Lords, which is outfitted in a similar color. Likewise, the California State Assembly Chamber is decorated green, parallel to the British House of Commons. Almost every decorating element of the Senate chamber is identical to those in the Assembly.