The Pennsylvania State Senate has been meeting since 1791. It is the upper house of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania state legislature. The State Senate meets in the State Capitol building in Harrisburg. Senators are elected for four year terms, staggered every two years such that half of the seats are contested at each election. Even numbered seats and odd numbered seats are contested in separate election years. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate becomes the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in the event of the sitting Lieutenant Governor's removal, resignation or death. In this case the President Pro Tempore and Lieutenant Governor would be the same person.
The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor, who has no vote except in the event of an otherwise tie vote. Following the 2010 elections, the Senate consisted of 30 Republicans and 20 Democrats, but Michael O'Pake died shortly after being re-elected, which resulted in a vacancy.