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Senate of Virginia

NameVirginia State Senate
LegislatureVirginia General Assembly
Coa PicVirginia Senate Seal.png
Session RoomVirginia Senate in Session.jpg
Structure1Virginia Senate Composition.png
House TypeUpper House
Term LimitsNone
New SessionJanuary 12, 2011
Leader1 TypePresident of the Senate
Leader1Bill Bolling
Election1January 14, 2006
Leader2 TypePresident pro Tempore
Leader2Charles J. Colgan
Election2January 9, 2008
Leader3 TypeMajority Leader
Leader3Richard L. Saslaw
Election3November 28, 2007
Leader4 TypeMinority Leader
Leader4Tommy Norment
Election4November 28, 2007
Term Length4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Virginia Constitution
Salary$18,000/year + per diem
Last Election1November 6, 2007
(40 seats)
Next Election1November 8, 2011
(40 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Political Groups1  Democratic Party (22)
  Republican Party (18)
Meeting PlaceState Senate Chamber
Virginia State Capitol
Richmond, Virginia

     Home | Legislature | Senate of Virginia

The Senate of Virginia is the upper house of the Virginia General Assembly. The Senate is composed of 40 Senators representing an equal number of single-member constituent districts. The Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Prior to the American War of Independence, the upper house of the General Assembly was represented by the Governor's Council, consisting of executive counselors appointed by the Governor of Virginia as advisers.

The Lieutenant Governor presides daily over the Virginia Senate. In the Lieutenant Governor's absence, a president pro tempore presides, usually a powerful member of the majority party. The Senate is equal with the House of Delegates, the lower chamber of the legislature, except that taxation bills must originate in the House, similar to the federal U.S. Congress.

Members of the Virginia Senate are elected every four years by the voters of the 40 senatorial districts on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November. The last election took place on November 6, 2007. There are no term limits for Senators.

In the 2007 Virginia state elections, the Democratic Party reclaimed the majority in the Senate for the first time since 1999, when the Republican Party took control of the Senate for the first time in history.

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